Boo to the Chief
We knew she'd do something. But aside from the booing, what Marjorie Taylor Greene didn't do is what's most upsetting. Plus: WTF was Bono doing at the SOTU? And: The orphan girl born in an earthquake
Welcome to Wednesday, Feb. 8, 2023. Thanks for rising up! Today in Black history: Journalist Henry McAlpin attended a White House press conference on this day in 1941, becoming the first African-American to do so. Actor Gary Coleman was born (1968-2014). Boxer Leon Spinks defeated Muhammad Ali in 1978 to briefly become the World Heavyweight Champion. And in 1986, this TV news anchor became the first African-American woman to host a nationally syndicated TV talk show in the U.S. Her name? Oprah Winfrey.
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Here Now the News:
WHAT YOU MISSED BY NOT WATCHING THE STATE OF THE UNION:
President Joe Biden delivered the second longest address in history, only eclipsed by Bill Clinton’s. What did he say? CNN has big takeaways here.
Four Supreme Court Justices decided, “NAH” and stayed away.
Republicans heckled, booed and shouted at Biden, particularly Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene of Georgia and Rep. Andy Ogles of Tennessee. Greene, who earlier in the day walked around the Capitol holding a big white balloon, called the president a liar when he said some Republicans wanted to cut Social Security and Medicare (Paging Sen. Rick Scott!),.
Experts credited Biden with a “rope a dope” strategy, backing the GOP into a corner and getting them to promise to not cut Social Security and Medicare.
Although everyone else in the chamber stood to applaud the mother and stepfather of Tyre Nichols when Biden introduced them, Greene stayed seated, and did so again later, when the president saluted the ambassador from Ukraine.
Rep. George Santos (R-N.Y.) positioned himself along the aisle in an obvious attempt to try to shake the president’s hand. Sen. Mitt Romney (R-Utah) told Santos: “You don’t belong here” and called him “a sick puppy.”
DEMOCRAT PERSPECTIVE: “President Joe Biden, at the ripe age of 80, came out with ample vim and vigor in Tuesday night’s State of the Union address and proceeded to mop the House floor with the howling, discombobulated remains of the Republican Party.” — USA Today
REPUBLICAN PERSPECTIVE: “The most obvious takeaway from Biden’s tone-deaf speech was the glaring optics problem that didn’t match his phony political rhetoric.” — Fox News
FACT CHECKING GOV. SARAH HUCKABEE SANDERS’ GOP RESPONSE: PolitiFact
HUCKABEE SANDERS IN ATTACK MODE: The Arkansas governor accused President Biden of caring more about “woke fantasies” than Americans’ economic concerns and called him and the Democrats “crazy,” and specifically pointed out the president’s age, declaring the 80-year-old “unfit to serve.” And then there was this study in contrasts: " I’m the first woman to lead my state, and he’s the first man to surrender his presidency to a woke mob that can’t even tell you what a woman is.” — Washington Post
HUMAN RIGHTS CAMPAIGN CONDEMNS HUCKABEE SANDERS FOR DEMONIZING TRANS PEOPLE: HRC
IT WAS BRIEF BUT: Biden promised to veto any bill that establishes a national ban on abortion and called on Congress to restore reproductive rights stripped away last year by the U.S. Supreme Court. GLAAD saluted the president for including LGBTQ+ rights in his address, and for mentioning transgender youth, currently targeted by 270+ proposed state laws.
WHY WAS BONO AT THE SOTU? Although the president didn’t mention him by name, the Irish rock star was plenty visible in the gallery. He was a guest of First Lady Joe Biden and sat next to Paul Pelosi, the husband of the former House Speaker and a victim of a terrible assault. So why was Bono there? The lead singer of U2 is the cofounder of the ONE campaign, which has targeted poverty and preventable diseases, as well as (RED), which fights HIV/AIDS in Africa, and was championed 20 years ago by then-President George W. Bush. Even Bush received a shoutout from Biden. But Bono didn’t!
Memphis Cop Snapped, then Shared A Pic of Brutally Beaten Tyre Nichols
HE TEXTED TO BRAG: The New York Times is reporting that the night Tyre Nichols sat propped against a police car, bloodied, dazed and handcuffed, just minutes after being beaten by a group of now former Memphis police officers, one of those ex-cops took a picture of him and sent it to at least five people. At least one of those people is not a member of the M.P.D. Police say the officer violated department policy about keeping information confidential. — NYT
A Tragic Miracle
INSTANT ORPHAN: As buildings tumbled down from a powerful pair of earthquakes Monday, killing thousands in Turkey and Syria, a pregnant woman went into labor and amid the rubble, delivered her baby. The mother did not survive, but somehow her newborn did. This unnamed baby girl is actually the only one in her family to have survived the quakes; In addition to her mother, her father, her four siblings and an aunt all perished. Rescuers in Northwest Syria dug her from the remnants of their home when they heard her cries, cut the umbilical cord and rushed the infant to receive treatment for lacerations, bruises and hypothermia. Watch video of that moment here, — BBC
WOMAN WINS $1.1 MILLION FROM BOSS WHO FIRED HER FOR BEING JEWISH: She asked for 8 days off, he said “No,” and fired her. — Times of Israel
IF PASSED, MISSOURI BILL WOULD GO FURTHER THAN FLORIDA’S “DON’T SAY TRANS OR GAY” LAW: Teachers could not discuss LGBTQ+ with K-12 students; Only licensed mental health providers could do so and only with parental permission. St. Louis Today
UTAH SENATE PASSES BAN ON CONVERSION THERAPY: KSTU-TV
VARIETY’S FRANK RIZZO REVEALS THE STORY BEHIND “INDECENT:” The powerful play was among the works banned by school officials in Florida.
JUDGE REJECTS FLORIDA’S DEMAND TO HAVE TRANSGENDER PLAINTIFFS SEE A SHRINK BEFORE TRIAL PROCEEDS: WCTV
BBC APOLOGIZES FOR NOT DEFENDING J.K. ROWLING: A trans woman appeared on the Beeb and called the Harry Potter author a transphobe. The host said Rowling might disagree with that perspective. Outrage followed that the host did not rush to Rowling’s defense, and the BBC said sorry for not doing more to defend the poor millionaire transphobe. — Daily Mail
DID ANYBODY NOTICE? The Grammys gave Dave Chappelle an award for the standup special that earned him the label, “transphobe.” — The Hollywood Reporter
OH, BOY: The latest episode of NBC’s rebooted SciFi drama, Quantum Leap, features a transgender theme, stars Trace Lysette and is both directed by and has an appearance by out trans actor Shakina Neyfack! Read all about it here in Gaety.
HELLO, PAT! Later today, my BFF and fellow journalist Melody Maia Monet and I will be among those who have the privilege of interviewing the stars and showrunner (the incredible Terry Matalas) about season three of Star Trek: Picard! That includes Sir Patrick Stewart, Gates McFadden, Jonathan Frakes, Brent Spiner, LeVar Burton, Jeri Ryan, Michael Dorn, Michelle Hurd… and one more! Here’s video of my 2022 interviews with the cast, just before the premiere of season two, in which Stewart invited me to call him, “Pat.”
OOH LA LA: PICARD SPEAKS FRENCH: To further whet your appetite for the final season of Star Trek: Picard, premiering Friday, Feb. 16 on Paramount+, here’s a deleted scene from season one! This reveals that the retired Admiral with the British accent does indeed speak French, and hints at his affection for Laris, played by Orla Brady.
That’s all for today. Thanks for rising up with me, and thank you to all my subscribers, especially those who are paid subscribers. On Friday, I’ll have a special treat for those paying subscribers: My review of Season 3 of Star Trek: Picard! I promise I will provide NO spoilers.
Until then, may your news be good news!
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