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

11:35 a.m.

President Trump's TV time may be a bigger problem than we thought.

The president is obviously attached to his favorite Fox News programs, tweeting responses to and explicitly mentioning what show he's watching throughout his presidency. But as former White House communications aide Cliff Sims describes, Trump sometimes took his screen time a little too far.

At one point, Trump was supposed to be meeting with then-House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wisc.) to hear about his party's replacement for the Affordable Care Act, Sims describes in his forthcoming book Team of Vipers. It didn't work out as Ryan planned, as The Washington Post summarizes below.

Sims recounts one time when Ryan was in the Oval Office explaining the ins and outs of the Republican health care bill to the president. As Ryan droned on for 15 minutes, Trump sipped on a glass of Diet Coke, peered out at the Rose Garden, stared aimlessly at the walls and, finally, walked out.

Ryan kept talking as the president wandered down the hall to his private dining room, where he flicked on his giant flat-screen TV. Apparently, he had had enough of Ryan's talk. It fell to Vice President [Mike] Pence to retrieve Trump and convince him to return to the Oval Office so they could continue their strategy session.

As anyone who watched Ryan's six-part documentary series about himself and tax reform can attest, Trump probably made the right choice. Kathryn Krawczyk

11:28 a.m.

A Star Is Born is looking less and less like a Best Picture Oscar winner.

The film, which was once thought to be the frontrunner for Best Picture at the Academy Awards but came up short at previous awards shows in recent weeks, picked up eight nominations on Tuesday. It came in behind The Favourite and Roma, which each received 10 nominations. Eight isn't a bad haul to be sure, but the film was snubbed in two key categories that bring its Best Picture chances into even greater doubt.

The first is Best Film Editing, a category in which the eventual Best Picture winner is virtually always nominated. That's been the case at every single Oscars in the past 20 years except in 2015 when Birdman was left out, although this made some sense considering the film was presented as taking place in one long shot without any edits. Weirdly, though, Roma was also snubbed for Best Film Editing this year, despite being the clear Best Picture favorite.

More importantly, Bradley Cooper was left out of the Best Director category for his work on A Star Is Born. It's extremely rare that a film wins Best Picture without its director being nominated. Only once in the past 20 years has that happened: with Argo's Ben Affleck in 2013, which was a big deal at the time because of how uncommon an occurrence it was.

Neither of these snubs rule out a win for A Star Is Born. But this, coupled with the movie's disappointing performance at the Golden Globe Awards, the Critics Choice Awards, and the Producers Guild of America Awards, does not paint a pretty picture.

If A Star Is Born is to have any chance of winning Best Picture, it must turn things around at the upcoming Screen Actors Guild Awards and Directors Guild Awards. If it's unable to, this could very well be Roma's year. Brendan Morrow

11:00 a.m.

President Trump's governing style is almost as tumultuous as his easily windswept hairstyle. Perhaps that's because he's relying on a budget product to keep his coif in check.

In his forthcoming book Team of Vipers, former White House communications aide Cliff Sims describes "how absolutely out of control the White House staff ... was at times," per an advance copy obtained by The Washington Post. But Sims did attempt to keep at least one thing in check, as the Post described from the book below.

As White House director of message strategy, Sims regularly met Trump at the private elevator of the residence and accompanied him to video tapings — carrying a can of Tresemmé Tres Two hair spray, extra hold, for the boss.

Judging from the numerous times Trump's hair has been blown off course, it's no wonder Sims was eventually reassigned to the State Department after more than a year in the White House. Hopefully by now, Trump has upgraded from a spray you can get for $2.74 at Walmart. Kathryn Krawczyk

10:49 a.m.

The Supreme Court says President Trump's policy restricting transgender people from serving in the military can go into effect — for now.

The court on Tuesday lifted nationwide injunctions on the policy, therefore allowing the administration to enforce it while its legality continues to be challenged in the lower courts, The Washington Post reports.

The court's conservative justices, including Justice Brett Kavanaugh, sided with the Trump administration, while Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Stephen Breyer, Sonia Sotomayor, and Elena Kagan were in favor of continuing the injunctions. The court did not rule on the legality of the actual policy, however.

The ban was blocked by several courts last year, but the Supreme Court voted 5-4 to allow the restrictions to continue. The controversial policy first banned transgender people from serving in the U.S. military "in any capacity," then was later amended to ban transgender personnel who "may require substantial medical treatment."

Trump's policy, which was originally announced on Twitter in 2017, will affect 8,980 members of the military, CNN reports. Brendan Morrow

10:14 a.m.

Body cameras were supposed to build trust between police and the people they serve. Their price is getting in the way.

In the wake of highly publicized police shootings, only occasionally recorded by bystanders but often sparking protests, police departments invested in body cameras to promote accountability. But small police departments have since been unable to maintain the cost of storing footage, and so they're ditching body camera programs quickly after they began, The Washington Post reports.

Of the 1,800 departments that "reported a fatal officer-involved shooting since 2015," nearly 1,300 of those departments had 50 or fewer officers, the Post reports via its police shooting database. That means smaller departments often need body camera accountability the most, and Justice Department grants have helped them cover $70 million in initial equipment costs.

Since the programs' implementation, though, departments have faced unexpected annual costs to keep the cameras rolling. A five-officer department in Nebraska couldn't justify spending $15,000 each year to store footage for at least 90 days, as a state law required. So it ditched the program in November, the Post says. The department of Arlington County, Virginia, rejected a pilot program right off the bat after learning it would cost $300,000 each year.

Beyond the cost of storage, there are concerns over the time it takes public defense attorneys to prepare video evidence for trial. Virginia calculates that for every 75 body cameras, it would need to hire another defense attorney, paralegal, or administrator. That rings up a charge of $6.4 million per year, the Post says. Read more about the unexpected cost of body cameras at The Washington Post. Kathryn Krawczyk

10:03 a.m.

The 2019 Oscar nominations brought about plenty of firsts, including for Netflix, comic book movies, and Spike Lee.

Roma is the first Netflix movie to ever be nominated for Best Picture. The movie from Alfonso Cuarón earned 10 nominations and is widely considered to be the frontrunner to win. This isn't the first time a movie from any streaming service has received a Best Picture nomination, though, as Amazon's Manchester by the Sea beat Netflix to the punch in 2017.

Hulu also earned its first Oscar nomination ever this year for Minding the Gap, which was nominated for Best Documentary Feature.

With Roma getting its Best Picture nod, producer Gabriela Rodriguez becomes the first Hispanic woman ever to earn a nomination in that category, The Hollywood Reporter points out. Additionally, Roma's Cuarón is the first person to be nominated for Best Cinematography and Best Director in the same year for one movie, IndieWire reports.

Black Panther also became the first superhero film to ever be nominated for Best Picture. This comes 10 years after The Dark Knight was famously snubbed for a Best Picture nomination in 2009, which contributed to the Academy's decision to expand that category to more than five movies.

Speaking of Black Panther, the film received a Best Production Design nomination as well, and Hannah Beachler therefore became the first black woman ever nominated in that category, The New York Times' Kyle Buchanan points out.

Best Director this year consists of both Pawel Pawlikowski (Cold War) and Alfonso Cuarón (Roma), which, according to the Reporter, is the first time ever that the category has included two movies also nominated for Best Foreign Language film.

Finally, Spike Lee, believe it or not, also received his first nomination ever for Best Director for BlacKkKlansman, while Sam Elliott received his first ever acting nomination for Best Supporting Actor in A Star Is Born. Brendan Morrow

9:23 a.m.

The 2019 Academy Award nominations have arrived.

In the top category of Best Picture, the nominees are BlacKkKlansman, Black Panther, Bohemian Rhapsody, The Favourite, Green Book, Roma, A Star Is Born, and Vice.

Roma and The Favourite led the pack with 10 nominations each. It was a great morning for Roma in particular, scoring unexpected nominations for Best Actress and Best Supporting Actress. The Netflix film is looking set to be the Best Picture frontrunner and could become the first foreign language film to ever win the top prize.

A Star Is Born earned eight nominations, but in one of the morning's biggest surprises, Bradley Cooper was not nominated for Best Director. He did, however, receive a Best Actor nod. Strangely, A Star Is Born and Roma were both left out of Best Film Editing, a category in which the Best Picture winner is almost always nominated.

The nominees for Best Actor are Christian Bale (Vice), Willem Dafoe (At Eternity's Gate), Bradley Cooper (A Star Is Born), Rami Malek (Bohemian Rhapsody), and Viggo Mortensen (Green Book), while Best Actress consists of Olivia Colman (The Favourite), Glenn Close (The Wife), Lady Gaga (A Star Is Born), Melissa McCarthy (Can You Ever Forgive Me?), and Yalitza Aparicio (Roma).

In Best Supporting Actor, the nominees are Mahershala Ali (Green Book), Adam Driver (BlacKkKlansman), Sam Elliott (A Star Is Born), Richard E. Grant (Can You Ever Forgive Me?), and Sam Rockwell (Vice), while the nominees for Best Supporting Actress are Amy Adams (Vice), Regina King (If Beale Street Could Talk), Emma Stone (The Favourite), Marina De Tavira (Roma), and Rachel Weisz (The Favourite).

The Oscars, which are not expected to have a host, will take place on Feb. 24. Read the full list of nominees at The Hollywood Reporter. Brendan Morrow

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