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November 7, 2018

The big takeaway from Tuesday's midterm elections is that "Democrats control the House," Stephen Colbert said on Tuesday's live Late Show. "They can now open investigations into the president, and we'll finally find out if Donald Trump has ever done anything unethical. That's the banner headline of the evening: Democrats take House. Everything after this is just gravy, okay? This is it: Democrats have taken control of half of one of the three branches of government. All the GOP has is the other half of Congress, the Supreme Court, and a president who does whatever he wants."

"All day it felt like today like America was in the doctor's office waiting for our STD results to come back," Jimmy Kimmel said on his live Kimmel Live. "And no matter what the outcome, whether you're a Republican or a Democrat, I think we can all agree that the big loser this year is all of our Thanksgiving dinners."

"The Democrats flipped the House — President Trump is reportedly already blaming Paul Ryan," Kimmel said. "He's so disappointed in the speaker of the House, he might start calling him Don. Jr. ... Republicans, as expected, keep control of the Senate, which is good news for the president and bad news for polar bears." He had some thoughts on Ted Cruz's victory, then showed people on the street reacting to the fake, newly elected Sen. Kid Rock (R-Mich.).

Maybe the "blue wave" turned out to be a "blue ripple," Seth Meyers said on Late Night, "but hey, if you've been in the desert for two years, a little splash of water feels like a damn tsunami." Seriously, Democrats winning control of the House is a big deal, he said. "Democrats now have subpoena power, and if you don't believe me, Trump was just photographed trying to sneak 20 years of tax returns out of the White House." Watch below. Peter Weber

7:17p.m.

President Trump on Wednesday announced he is in favor of a bipartisan proposal to rewrite the country's prison and sentencing laws.

"It's the right thing to do," he said during an event at the White House. Called the First Step Act, this tentative legislative package adds to a prison overhaul bill the House passed earlier this year. It includes shortening mandatory minimum sentences for some nonviolent drug offenses and changes the "three strikes" penalty from life in prison to 25 years, The New York Times reports. It will also roll back some of the federal policies from the 1980s and 1990s that disproportionately affect blacks and fund anti-recidivism programs.

Trump's son-in-law and senior adviser Jared Kushner is the biggest proponent of the package in the administration, and presented the deal to Trump on Tuesday. Trump urged Congress to agree to a final bill quickly so he can sign it. There are 2.2 million prisoners in the United States. Catherine Garcia

6:28p.m.

Michael Avenatti, the attorney representing adult film star Stormy Daniels in her case against President Trump, was arrested Wednesday on suspicion of felony domestic violence.

A spokesman for the Los Angeles Police Department told The Hollywood Reporter a report about the alleged abuse was filed on Tuesday.

A law enforcement official told TMZ when Avenatti's estranged wife filed the report, her face was "swollen and bruised." The official also said there was a confrontation between the two on Wednesday, which led to the police getting involved. The couple married in 2011, and Avenatti filed for divorce last year. Catherine Garcia

5:28p.m.

Every day, 20 Americans die waiting for an organ transplant.

Scientists have long tried xenotransplantation — using organs from other species in humans — to combat a short supply of organ donors, with little success. But this method is seemingly on the verge of a massive breakthrough, and it could provide "a definitive solution to the organ crisis," a transplant researcher tells The New York Times Magazine.

The first attempt at xenotransplantation came in 1984, when doctors replaced a newborn's failing heart with a baboon's. The baby lived less than three weeks, but the story inspired a new generation of xenotransplantation researchers who are focused less on primates and more on inbred, pathogen-free pigs, per the Times Magazine.

Given primates' long breeding cycles, using them to essentially create an organ farm wasn't sustainable. But pigs ordinarily have multiple piglets in less than four months, and they're "uncannily humanlike in organ size and function," the Times Magazine notes. The main xenotransplantation complication came from humans' and pigs' divergent immune systems, which meant a human would probably reject swine tissue.

That's where Columbia University immunologist David Sachs' pathogen-free swine farm comes in. Sachs' pigs are genetically engineered so their organs grow to "about the same size as a human's," the Times Magazine writes, and Sachs says they're "very likely the most inbred large animals on Earth." Those swine, combined with what scientists call "brute-force immunotherapy," could lead to success in the first "pig-to-human skin graft" slated for later this month. If it's successful, a full kidney replacement for dialysis patients will come next. Read more at The New York Times Magazine. Kathryn Krawczyk

5:03p.m.

The secret to winning the lottery just might be persistence.

After playing the same numbers for 25 years, a man in Harlem, New York City, found a little bit of luck and won the largest jackpot in New York state lottery history — $343 million, reports Time. Robert Bailey, a retired federal government employee, was revealed as the Powerball winner at a news conference at the Resorts World Casino New York City on Wednesday.

Bailey, 67, purchased his ticket at a deli in Harlem ahead of the October 27 drawing, and was shocked when he saw the winning numbers online that night.

"I tried to remain calm and sat down to watch some shows I had on my DVR. I didn't sleep the rest of the night," he said, reports The Washington Post.

Bailey chose to receive the money in a lump sum, which, after taxes, is roughly $125 million, says Time. He will split the jackpot with a woman in Iowa, per the Post.

During the press conference, Bailey revealed that he plans to continue playing the lottery, and that he played Wednesday morning. He plans to use the winnings to buy a house for his mother and to travel. He also wants to use the money for the greater good.

“I plan to give back to Manhattan; that's where I'm from,” Bailey said to the Post. “I still want to be me. I can't let money change me. I'm going to keep doing the right thing.” Taylor Watson

4:37p.m.

The House's next GOP leader isn't blaming any Republicans for his party's smaller, largely homogenous new coalition.

House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) easily beat Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) to become the GOP's next minority leader on Wednesday. Afterward, NBC News' Kasie Hunt reminded McCarthy that he's slated to lead an overwhelmingly white and male group in January, and he quickly jumped on the defensive.

Presidents typically lose seats "in their first off-year election," like how former President Barack Obama saw 63 spots flip red in 2010, McCarthy affirmed on Wednesday. After all, billionaire politician "Michael Bloomberg spent more than $100 million," to elect Democrats, McCarthy said, adding that "Bloomberg was very effective in defeating a lot of Republican women." House Majority Whip Steve Scalise (R-La.) can be spotted behind McCarthy mouthing "That's true."

The number of Republican women in the House fell from 23 to 13 this election, reports The Associated Press. That means the House GOP will be 90 percent white men, while more than 60 percent of Democrats will be women, people of color, or LGBT.

McCarthy has long taken issue with Bloomberg's election contributions, declaring "we cannot allow [liberal philanthropist George] Soros ... and Bloomberg to BUY this election" in an October tweet. The tweet was sent just after a bomb arrived at Soros' home, and McCarthy later deleted it. Kathryn Krawczyk

4:08p.m.

Democrats are continuing to add to their new majority in the House of Representatives — the party just flipped a seat held by a Republican who was key in the GOP effort to repeal ObamaCare.

Andy Kim, who served as a national security aide to former President Barack Obama, defeated two-term Republican Rep. Tom MacArthur (R-N.J.) in the race for New Jersey's 3rd District, The Associated Press projected on Wednesday.

Prior to the election, this race had been classified as a toss-up by the Cook Political Report. Kim declared victory on Election Night, but MacArthur did not concede the race, per Asbury Park Press. Elected in 2014, MacArthur was the architect of the controversial MacArthur amendment, a part of the GOP's proposed ObamaCare repeal which would have allowed states to opt out of some of the health care law's requirements.

Since Election Day, Democrats have continued to pull off victories in key House races that had remained undecided last week. In New Jersey, in particular, they have made significant gains, as this is the fourth House seat the Democrats have won from the GOP in the state this year, reports The Hill. Kim's victory means that in the 116th Congress, New Jersey will have just a single Republican representative for the first time since former President Theodore Roosevelt's administration, The New York Times reports. Brendan Morrow

3:42p.m.

It has clearly been quite some time since President Trump's last trip to the grocery store.

In a new interview with The Daily Caller Wednesday, Trump pushed for strict voter ID laws, using as part of his argument the completely made-up fact that "if you buy a box of cereal — you have a voter ID." Trump had previously said in August that you need to show photo ID to buy groceries, and apparently nobody has bothered to correct him in the past three months.

Trump in this interview also tossed out a voter fraud conspiracy theory that's even weirder than usual: he contends that there are people who illegally vote by showing up to the polls, voting, and then switching into another outfit in the parking lot so they can get back in line and pretend to be somebody else like something out of an episode of The Simpsons. "Sometimes they go to their car, put on a different hat, put on a different shirt, come in and vote again," Trump claimed without evidence, adding that it's "really a disgrace what's going on.”

This came after Trump baselessly declared that the only reason "Republicans don't win" is because of these "potentially illegal votes," although voter impersonation is actually extraordinarily rare. As Democrats continue to pick up seats in the House of Representatives, don't be surprised by the increasingly nonsensical voter fraud conspiracies, and surprisingly ridiculous misunderstandings of grocery store protocol, to come. Brendan Morrow

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