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January 6, 2019

Is this the real life? Bohemian Rhapsody took home the award for Best Motion Picture — Drama at the Golden Globe Awards on Sunday, in one of the most stunning upsets in the show's recent history.

A Star Is Born was the overwhelming favorite going into the night to the point that 27 out of 27 experts polled had predicted it would win on the awards website GoldDerby. And if the Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper musical somehow didn't win, the award was expected to go to either BlacKkKlansman or possibly Black Panther.

Instead, the top prize went to Bohemian Rhapsody, the Queen movie that earned mixed to negative reactions among critics and a Rotten Tomatoes score of just 62 percent. There had been some buzz going into the show that the Hollywood Foreign Press Association, the group that votes on the Golden Globes, may have been far more receptive to Bohemian Rhapsody than critics, but few thought that could propel it to a win.

This came after A Star Is Born's Lady Gaga, in another surprising upset, lost in the Best Actress in a Motion Picture — Drama category, although far fewer viewers objected to Glenn Close's win than to Bohemian Rhapsody's.

The good news for A Star Is Born is that the category of Best Motion Picture — Drama isn't always indicative of the Oscar's Best Picture winner; in fact, since 2000, the two awards have only lined up 7 out of 18 times. Still, Bohemian Rhapsody has some unexpected momentum coming out of the show, which, conveniently, takes place right before the Oscar nominating period begins. Brendan Morrow

7:44 a.m.

There have been at least 22 confirmed case of measles in Clark County, Washington, and three more suspected cases, since Jan. 1. One adult has been infected with the highly contagious airborne disease, and most of the 21 children are age 10 or younger; one has been hospitalized. Nineteen of the people infected were not immunized against the disease, which — thanks to vaccines — was eliminated from the U.S. in 2000.

Clark County, which borders Portland, Oregon, has the lowest vaccination rate in Washington, with 77.4 percent of public school students having completed their vaccinations, The Oregonian reports. "The outbreak has hit religious and private schools in Clark County especially hard." Schools and a church have been identified as possible infection spots, and infected people also visited Portland International Airport, stores and restaurants, and a Jan. 11 Portland Trail Blazers game at Portland's Moda Center. No Oregonians have yet been diagnosed with measles.

There has been a rise in children not being vaccinated, raising concerns among public health officials. Before the vaccine became widely used in the early 1960s, about 400 to 500 people died every year and tens of thousands more were hospitalized. In 2018, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says, 349 people in 26 states were confirmed infected with measles. Peter Weber

7:42 a.m.

Another Democrat has entered the increasingly packed 2020 presidential race.

South Bend, Indiana Mayor Pete Buttigieg announced Wednesday morning that he is launching a 2020 exploratory committee, the first step in a presidential run. In a video released on Twitter, Buttigieg said "there's a new generation of voices emerging in our country" who are "walking away from the politics of the past." Buttigieg was considered a likely 2020 candidate, especially since he announced he would not seek another term as mayor.

Buttigieg turns 39 in January 2021. If elected, he would be the youngest president in American history. He would also be the first openly gay nominee for a major political party if he were to pull off a major upset and actually win the Democratic nomination, NBC News reports.

The announcement comes two days after Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.) threw her hat in the 2020 ring, joining 37-year-old Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (D-Hawaii), Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.), and former secretary of Housing and Urban Development Julian Castro. Other candidates widely expected to join the race, like former Vice President Joe Biden and Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), have not yet announced their decisions.

Watch Buttigieg's announcement below. Brendan Morrow

6:42 a.m.

President Trump said on camera he would proudly shut down the government to get his border wall, he did shut it down, and a majority of Americans blame him for the longest shutdown in U.S. history. But Trump is convinced he has the leverage, The Washington Post reports, and as often is the case with Trump, it's leverage of his own making.

Trump "creates — or threatens to create — a calamity, and then insists he will address the problem only if his adversary capitulates to a separate demand," the Post says, counting at least eight times he has used this technique in office, with mixed success. "Trump has described this approach as creating leverage and negotiating, but Democrats and other opponents have said it amounts to 'hostage taking.'" On Tuesday, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) compared it to "bartering with stolen goods." House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) explained why Trump's hardball tactic won't bring Democrats to the table:

Using self-generated leverage — in this case, 800,000 unpaid federal employees and a million immigrants whose protections he's moved to strip — to force concessions "is a well-worn tactic from Trump's business career, but this is the first time the livelihoods of so many U.S. workers and households have hung in the balance," the Post says, and the first time he's used it with Congress. Democrats are standing firm in part because they don't want him to use it again with must-pass funding bills and the debt ceiling.

Ironically, Peter Baker says at The New York Times, "among the hostages has been his own presidency," because "his single-minded pursuit of a border wall" has frozen the rest of his agenda. Peter Weber

5:08 a.m.

On Monday, Gizmodo reported that President Trump's Facebook and Instagram accounts have in recent months featured several photos of him that were digitally manipulated to make him look thinner, less wrinkled, fuller-haired, "and in one of the strangest alterations, Trump's fingers have been made slightly longer. Seriously."

"Well, it's nice to know that even during the shutdown, we've still got a functioning Department of Homeland Insecurity," Stephen Colbert joked on Tuesday's Late Show. He showed Trump's slimmed waist line and then his elongated finger. "You know what they say about a man with long photoshopped fingers," he said, eschewing subtlety: "Sad little ding-dong." Also, Colbert added, "Photoshop has its limits. We see him in real life. What's he going to do, give the State of the Union in Hulk hands?" (Subtle changes are "the point of using an app like Facetune," Gizmodo notes. "The goal is to make sure that no one notices. Everyone knows what President Trump looks like, so drastic alterations are going to be obvious immediately.")

Still, "if they're trying to make Trump more appealing, I say they just go farther," Colbert said, and his demonstration was the deepest cut of all.

The Late Show also teed off Rudy Giuliani's New Yorker interview to come up with some rough drafts for his tombstone epitaph. Watch below. Peter Weber

3:55 a.m.

The 32-day-old government shutdown is leaving marks, and not just on the 800,000 federal employees about to miss their second paycheck.

On Tuesday, the Transportation Security Administration sent out a letter requesting at least 250 TSA agents in 10 states to move to airports hit hard by employees calling in sick, CNN reports, travel and hotels paid for by Uncle Sam (eventually). So many USDA meat inspectors are calling in sick that the department briefly ordered them to bring doctor's notes for every sick day, and federal prisons are making secretaries and janitors patrol the halls and yards, The Washington Post reports. On Tuesday, the FBI Agents Association issued a report detailing shutdown-induced paralysis at the nation's top law enforcement agency.

Also on Tuesday, Coast Guard Commandant Adm. Karl Schultz posted a video slamming the shutdown without directly assigning blame. "We're five plus weeks into the anxiety and stress of this government lapse and your non-pay," he told Coast Guard members, who work for the unfunded Department of Homeland Security. "You as members of the armed forces should not be expected to shoulder this burden," and while the "outpouring of support from local communities across the nation" has been heartening, "ultimately, I find it unacceptable that Coast Guard men and women have to rely on food pantries and donations to get through day-to-day life as service members."

Schultz says this is the first time U.S. service members have not been paid during a shutdown, and he's telling Capitol Hill how unacceptable that is. The House has passed several bills to re-open the government and the Senate will consider two rival bills on Thursday. Peter Weber

3:05 a.m.

Last week, the White House budget office took the extraordinary step of classifying Internal Revenue Service employees who process tax refunds as "essential" and recalling at least 30,000 to return to work without pay. But hundreds of those un-furloughed workers are staying home, requesting and receiving "hardship" exemptions that, under their union contract, allow them to skip work during a shutdown if they can't afford to work for free, The Washington Post reports.

"Trump has expressed an interest in making sure that tax refunds are paid out next month, believing that if they are delayed he could face major public backlash," the Post reports. But IRS workers who help process refunds and answer taxpayer questions are among the lowest-paid at the agency. "They are definitely angry that they're not getting paid, and maybe some of them are angry enough to express their anger this way," said Tony Reardon, president of the 150,000-member National Treasury Employees Union. "But these employees live paycheck to paycheck, and they can't scrape up the dollars to get to work or pay for child care."

If the number of IRS workers staying home rises, as union officials say they expect it will, refunds will likely be delayed. The IRS won't say how many workers are out on hardship leave, and IRS spokesman Matt Leas tells the Post that the agency is busy preparing for next week's start of tax filing season, "we are continuing our recall operations, and we continue to assess the situation at this time." You can read about some of the hardships at The Washington Post. Peter Weber

1:51 a.m.

President Trump might soon restrict Rudy Giuliani's television privileges, but that's likely as far as his punishment will go for a problematic media tour.

On Sunday, Giuliani announced on Meet the Press that discussions about the Trump Tower Moscow project continued until October or November 2016, meaning that Trump was dealing with Russians throughout the entire campaign, contradicting Trump. Giuliani tried to do damage control on Monday, saying his comments were "hypothetical," but then he dug himself a deeper hole by telling The New Yorker he listened to tapes of Trump and his former personal lawyer, Michael Cohen. When pressed, he backtracked. "I shouldn't have said tapes," Giuliani replied. "No tapes. Well, I have listened to tapes, but none of them concern this."

This left Trump and some of his allies completely agitated, three White House officials told The Associated Press, and Trump is being encouraged to put Giuliani on a TV timeout. His antics have overshadowed what Trump saw as good news: Special Counsel Robert Mueller's office saying portions of a BuzzFeed News article about Trump directing Cohen to lie are not accurate. Giuliani "changed the headlines," but not in a good way, AP notes.

A White House aide told Politico that "handling Rudy's f--kups takes more than one man," but people close to Trump tell CNN and AP that Trump doesn't plan on giving Giuliani the ax. Still, Vanity Fair's Gabriel Sherman reports, Trump's daughter Ivanka and son-in-law Jared Kushner are both urging him to cut ties.

The big question isn't whether Trump will fire Giuliani, but rather, what's behind all the mixed messages? Some theorize that Giuliani likes to drop bombs right before major stories break, but friends of Giuliani say it's simple: He loves being in the spotlight, even if he's struggling to adapt to the current media landscape. As one buddy told Sherman: "There's a school of thought that it's better to be famous and ridiculed than ignored." Catherine Garcia

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