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- Senate Democrats condemned the FBI investigation into allegations of sexual misconduct against Brett Kavanaugh, the Supreme Court nominee, calling it "incomplete."
- Democrats have accused the White House of limiting the investigation, pointing to the fact that the FBI didn't interview Kavanaugh or Christine Blasey Ford, a professor who has accused him of sexual assault.
- Sen. Chuck Schumer called on the GOP to release a redacted version of the report and the White House directive instructing the FBI on how to conduct its investigation.
- Spirit Halloween is a Halloween specialty store with more than 1,000 locations in the United States.
- But the stores are only open from late August through early November.
- Operating seasonally has its advantages and its disadvantages. Spirit Halloween's public and media relations manager, Erin Springer, told Business Insider that as the economy continues improving and more retailers are opening stores, it can be more challenging to find locations for the Halloween stores.
- We shopped at a Spirit Halloween store in New York's Financial District. Here's what it was like.
- "Ralph Breaks the Internet" directors Phil Johnston and Rich Moore talked to Business Insider about the controversy surrounding the way Princess Tiana from "The Princess and the Frog" is depicted in the movie.
- Following the online backlash, they went back and worked on the character again, saying it is now "as close to the 2D version as you can get."
- The filmmakers also revealed that there is more than one Disney princesses scene in the movie.
- Humidity plays an important role in flu transmission, and flu spreads fastest when it's cold and dry.
- But researchers who studied flu rates in 603 metro areas around the US from 2002 to 2008 found that the viruses don't circulate the same way everywhere.
- In large cities, flu season tends to last longer no matter the climate, suggesting that the weather doesn't play as big a role in transmission rates as person-to-person contact.
- But peak flu outbreaks are more intense in smaller towns and suburbs.
- UFC fighter Conor McGregor, one of the highest-paid athletes in the world, made $99 million between June 2017 and June 2018, according to Forbes.
- McGregor makes his money mostly from fights and endorsements, but he has other projects like clothing collaborations and a whiskey brand that contribute to his wealth.
- The outspoken fighter isn't afraid to show off his riches. See what his multimillion-dollar paydays buy.
- The New York Times on Tuesday published in an in-depth investigation into a series of financial transactions by Fred Trump, President Donald Trump's father, to pass wealth to his children.
- The investigation turned up a series of shady business practices, including what the paper called "outright fraud."
- Legal experts said investigators would not be able to look into most of the allegations in the story because of the statute of limitations on estate and gift tax audits.
- But they said there was one avenue investigators could follow: whether the Trump family omitted or misrepresented gifts on Fred Trump's estate tax return.
- Even if investigators were to look into that, it is unlikely anything would come of it, the experts said.
- The Times reported that Fred Trump was given an ownership stake worth $15.5 million in Donald's Trump Palace development, mostly in exchange for the elder Trump's forgiveness of loans to his son.
- But according to The Times, Fred Trump sold his stake four years later for just $10,000, most likely back to his son.
- In legal terms, that would amount to a $15.4 million gift subject to a 55% gift tax rate.
- A bottle of Macallan 60-year-old sold at auction for $1.1 million.
- That price tag makes it the most expensive bottle of whiskey ever sold.
- The Macallan Valerio Adami has been described as "the holy grail of whiskeys."
- President Donald Trump nominated Brett Kavanaugh to serve on the Supreme Court.
- The Senate, tasked with the confirmation process, has 51 Republicans and 49 Democrats.
- Republicans would need a minimum of 50 votes to confirm Kavanaugh, then Vice President Mike Pence could cast the tiebreaking vote.
- Here's a full recap of the Ford-Kavanaugh hearing
- "I am terrified": Ford details her sexual-assault allegation in gut-wrenching opening statement
- "I will not be intimidated into withdrawing": Kavanaugh defiant in prepared remarks for Senate hearing
- Ford says the strongest memory she has of Kavanaugh's alleged sexual assault was "the uproarious laughter"
- Ford says she decided to come forward after reporters were sitting outside of her house and showing up in her classroom where she taught
- Here is the polygraph test Ford took following her sexual-assault allegations against Kavanaugh
- Meet Mark Judge, Kavanaugh's high-school friend and the other man who's becoming central to the allegations
- Here are all the allegations against Kavanaugh
- How the Ford-Kavanaugh hearing compares to the 1991 Anita Hill hearing
- Meet Rachel Mitchell, the woman questioning Ford about her Kavanaugh allegations
- Meet Brett Kavanaugh, "the Forrest Gump of Republican politics"
- Senate committee votes to advance Kavanaugh, but final confirmation hits snag as GOP Sen. Jeff Flake seeks delay
- On National Taco Day, I like to think back to the times when I lived in Los Angeles and could drop by my favorite taco truck and eat tacos the right way.
- The right way to eat tacos is from a truck in a parking lot.
- Ideally, you can get your tacos for less than $2 apiece.
- But the flavor and quality will blow your mind.
- Democratic activists have zeroed in on Sen. Susan Collins, the moderate Maine Republican, as their battle to defeat Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh closes in on its final days before a scheduled confirmation vote.
- A coalition of activists from Collins's home state have so far raised over $1.8 million from over 60,000 donors to fund Collins' 2020 opponent if she votes "yes" on Kavanaugh.
- The effort targeting the centrist lawmaker could be the Democrats' last hope for a Supreme Court without Kavanaugh.
- Millennials are embracing socialism and have a particularly negative view of President Donald Trump, according to findings from a new BuzzFeed News and Maru/Blue poll.
- The poll indicates nearly half of all American millennial Democrats (48%) identify as democratic socialists or socialists.
- Additionally, the poll indicates a majority of millennials disapprove of the job Trump is doing as president.
- Bloomberg reported Thursday that Chinese officials were able to slip malicious microchips onto motherboards used by the US government and American tech giants, including Apple and Amazon.
- While the companies strongly denied the report, lawmakers in both the House and Senate said that they were looking closely into the allegations.
- Lawmakers also told Business Insider that the report is another example of China's sustained campaign to infiltrate the US and steal industrial and political secrets.
- Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley lashed out at reporters on Thursday, condemning what he called "bias" in the media.
- The Iowa Republican cited an instance in which he said reporters denied interviews to pro-Brett Kavanaugh demonstrators while they focused their attention on protesters opposed to the Supreme Court nominee.
- "Now that's a bias that none of you should be proud of," he said.
- Two key votes stand between Brett Kavanaugh and a lifetime appointment to the Supreme Court.
- The first vote is due Friday, and the final confirmation vote could take place Saturday.
- Friday's vote will give insight as to where lawmakers stand, including key undecided senators who have expressed doubts over Kavanaugh since a series of sexual-misconduct allegations emerged against him.
- Among the undecided senators are three Republicans.
- 10/05/18--04:33: The 50 best bars in the world in 2018
- Kensington Palace, next to London's Hyde Park, is home to 15 high-ranking royals.
- Prince Harry and Meghan Markle are reportedly ready to move to a 21-room apartment on the grounds after renovations.
- They have been living in a cottage on the palace grounds, which is where Harry proposed.
- Prince William and Kate Middleton will be their new neighbors, as the couple and their three children share a grand 20-room apartment that spans four floors.
- Many other royals are there as well.
- The queen and Prince Philip live in Buckingham Palace, about 2 miles away.
- Bradley Cooper and Lady Gaga make an electric combination in "A Star Is Born."
- Cooper even does his own singing the movie's songs alongside Gaga.
- The movie, which Cooper also directed, definitely lives up to the hype and will be an Oscar contender.
- One in five Americans has a tattoo.
- While ink is more mainstream than ever, face and neck tattoos are still no-gos at work.
- Hand tattoos are becoming accepted in the most progressive fields, like creative or tech industries.
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NOW WATCH: What happens when you sleep in your contacts
Senate Democrats on Thursday condemned the FBI investigation into allegations of sexual misconduct against Brett Kavanaugh, the Supreme Court nominee, arguing that the probe was limited by the White House and plagued by a lack of transparency.
After being briefed on the report, of which only one hard copy has been made available to senators under time limits and intense security, Democratic leadership called the investigation "incomplete" and pushed for Republicans to release a redacted version of the report and the White House's directive to the FBI instructing it on how to conduct the probe.
"We had many fears that this was a very limited process that would constrain the FBI from getting all the facts," Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer said during a brief press conference on Thursday morning. "Having received a thorough briefing on the documents, those fears have been realized."
Schumer said he disagreed with Senate Judiciary Chairman Chuck Grassley's description of the report as containing "no hint of misconduct."
"Why shouldn't all of America see the facts?" Schumer said.
Sen. Dianne Feinstein, the top Democrat on the Judiciary Committee, called the report "a product of an incomplete investigation" and accused the White House of blocking the FBI from "doing its job."
"The most notable part of this report is what's not in it," she said during the press conference.
Democratic lawmakers were given one hour on Thursday morning to view the report in a secure room in the Senate. A procedural vote to advance Kavanaugh's nomination has been scheduled for Friday, and a final vote could be held as early as Saturday.
The FBI conducted the background investigation into Kavanaugh after he and Christine Blasey Ford, a professor who has accused him of sexually assaulting her when they were in high school, testified before the Senate Judiciary Committee last Thursday. Republicans said they found Ford's testimony "credible."
Kavanaugh has denied the allegations of sexual misconduct from Ford and two other women. The FBI interviewed several of Kavanaugh's classmates and other people of interest, including Deborah Ramirez, who has accused Kavanaugh of exposing himself to her at a party when they were at Yale University.
Democrats have criticized the scope and length of the investigation amid news reports that former classmates of Kavanaugh's have said the FBI has ignored their offers of testimony that could corroborate Ford's allegation.
Sinéad Baker contributed to this report.
NOW WATCH: Inside the Trump 'MAGA' hat factory
Spirit Halloween is one of the largest Halloween specialty stores in the United States, with roughly 1,325 locations.
But by November 2, they'll all be closed until next year.
The pop-up Halloween retailer has been in business for 35 years, and its store count continues to grow. Unlike most retailers of that size, however, Spirit Halloween stores are only open for a few months each year.
Spirit Halloween locations don't always look the same, because they often move in to empty and abandoned storefronts. Many have taken to calling these Halloween stores the "hermit crabs" of retail because of this.
Spirit Halloween's public and media relations manager, Erin Springer, told Business Insider that Spirit Halloween's team scopes out locations year-round, even though the stores are only officially open from late August until early November.
Being a seasonal store has its advantages and disadvantages.
"As the economy continues to improve, retailers are beginning to expand their portfolios and vacant spaces are beginning to backfill. We do face challenges securing the best locations," Springer said. "However, Spirit Halloween has an excellent real estate team."
While Spirit Halloween is a privately held company that does not disclose sales numbers, Halloween spending is predicted to reach $9 billion this year, according to the National Retail Federation.
We visited a Spirit Halloween store that popped up in New York's Financial District. Here's what it was like to shop there:
Spirit Halloween, a pop-up retailer that sells Halloween costumes and accessories, opens up in vacant storefronts in late August each year. The retailer has a real-estate team that scouts out locations year-round.
Because the stores are temporary, they tend to be pretty no-frills. The stores typically close by November 2, and unsold inventory is put away until the following year.
There was a lot of empty space at the front of the store.
See the rest of the story at Business Insider
In "Ralph Breaks the Internet," the sequel to Disney's 2012 animated movie "Wreck-It Ralph," main characters from the original, Ralph (John C. Reilly) and Vanellope (Sarah Silverman), leave the friendly confines of their arcade games and launch into the world of the internet, where anything is possible.
That includes Vanellope finding herself in a room full of Disney princesses.
The scene has been in most of the promotions for the movie (which opens in theaters November 21), since it debuted at last year's D23 expo. And though it's a hilarious look at everyone from Snow White to Elsa talking about the unique similarities that make them all princesses, the scene was also caught up in controversy over how one of them was depicted.
Many who have seen the footage of the scene in the "Ralph Breaks the Internet" trailer felt Princess Tiana, from the 2009 Disney animated movie "The Princess and the Frog," did not resemble how she looked in her movie. That includes the advocacy organization Color of Change and the actress who voices the character, Anika Noni Rose.
Rose posted her thoughts on Instagram:
The outcry led to the directors of "Ralph Breaks the Internet," Phil Johnston and Rich Moore, to go back in with their team and improve on Tiana before the release of the movie.
Business Insider sat down with the filmmakers on Thursday leading up to their presentation of footage at New York Comic-Con, and they opened up about the process to get Princess Tiana right.
"In the last six or eight months we started getting some feedback that people didn't think Tiana looked like the original character from 'Princess and the Frog,'" Johnston said, who noted the challenges of converting a 2D-drawn character, which Tiana was in "Princess and the Frog," to a CGI version.
"It was the first time many of those princesses were done that way," Johnston said.
"So as we looked at it we said, 'Yeah, we need to do a better job.' So we did some work on her character to try to get her closer to the original 2D model, and once we had done that we invited in a bunch of groups, including Anika," Johnston said.
"If we don't get it perfect, we want to hear that," Moore added. "And even from outside sources. If we hear that something is not the best it can be, we look at it, because we want to honor those characters. We want it to be the best it can be. And we take that very, very seriously."
The filmmakers brought in Rose as well as advocacy groups like Color of Change and had them look at the revised Tiana. It' almost reminiscent of what Disney's Pixar Studios did with the making of "Coco," in which director Lee Unkrich invited in cultural consultants though different phases of the making of the movie to make sure the story correctly represented Mexican culture.
"There were tears, everyone was thrilled and happy that it was done," Johnston said. "And at the end of the day we are thrilled with the way that she looks and feel like it's as close to the 2D version as you can get in CG, knowing that there are going to be differences because the process is so different."
The filmmakers also said that the princesses scene will be a little different in the movie version compared to the footage in the trailer. Specifically, a few new jokes and a couple lines of dialogue from Vanellope.
And it sounds like that won't be the only time Princess Tiana will be seen in the movie. Johnston and Moore revealed that all the princesses show up again later in the movie.
"I have friends who are like, 'It's just that one scene with them, right?' All I can say is you'll definitely see more of them," Moore said.
There's a simple reason why the flu makes the rounds every winter: influenza viruses love cold, dry air.
When the relative humidity drops, flu viruses linger in the air longer. Researchers aren't sure yet why that's the case, but it means more flu-bearing moisture droplets can travel from one person's nose or mouth to another's during the winter.
However, although frigid air helps facilitate the spread of flu, the weather is less of a factor in flu transmission in big, concentrated cities.
That's the finding of a new paper published Thursday in the journal Science. For the study, researchers looked at six years (2002-2008) of week-by-week flu illness data in 603 cities and towns around the US. They discovered that in more densely populated cities, flu season is typically longer and more persistent than it is in small towns.
The researchers found that flu season lasts longer in more tightly packed cities like New York and Miami — despite their divergent climates — than in a city like Atlanta, where people's homes and businesses are more spread out.
"If an infected person is sitting right beside you, it matters less what the specific humidity is," study author Benjamin Dalziel said during a press call. "If there are a lot of people, and transportation patterns frequently draw them together, it helps the virus find new hosts."
The researchers don't think that someone in a dense city is at a higher overall risk of catching the flu, but rather that they face a mild risk spread over many more weeks.
"As cities get larger, more and more residential and workplace locations are focused within a few key spots within the city," Dalziel said. Those places — like crowded downtown areas where many people commute for work, for example — essentially become germ hubs, regardless of how cold it is.
Take a look at the difference between the 2004-2005 flu seasons in Atlanta and Miami:
But this isn't all good news for suburbanites. In more sprawling areas, according to the new data, flu transmission rates depend more on how cold and dry the air is than on people's movements. So when a cold snap comes, more people get sick at the same time, which can put extra stress on the health care system and make it tough for hospitals to properly respond.
"It's remarkable to me that the sort of size and structure of the communities that we live in ... in addition to all the other ways it shapes our lives, it's also shaping flu epidemics," Dalziel added.
Researchers aren't sure how severe this year's flu season will be yet, but the 2017-2018 season was a doozy: flu viruses killed 80,000 people in the US, making it the deadliest season on record since 1977. This year, flu season in Australia was pretty mild, and the flu vaccine has been updated in the hopes of better protecting people against some of the most dangerous strains.
When it comes to battling in the UFC, Conor McGregor is the man to beat. His skills in the octagon — and in the ring with Floyd Mayweather in 2017 — have landed him millions of dollars.
In one year alone — between June 2016 and June 2017 — he brought in $99 million, $85 million of which came from his now historic boxing match against Mayweather, Forbes reported. His story is more of a rags-to-riches tale, though. Before he found success with mixed martial arts, or MMA, he was a plumber's apprentice practicing in Dublin.
Now, his social media is filled with pictures of him and his family enjoying a luxurious lifestyle filled with gold watches, yachts, and designer clothes. Take a closer look at how he spends his millions.
Before he became the famous big-talking figure he is today, McGregor was a plumber's apprentice in Dublin. He eventually made the choice to train full time and fight on the European MMA circuit before turning to the UFC in 2012.
Source: The Hollywood Reporter
McGregor raked in $99 million over the past year, thanks mostly to his boxing match with Floyd Mayweather Jr.
Although he hasn’t stepped foot in the UFC Octagon professionally since November 2016, the $85 million he banked from the boxing match was his biggest paycheck in 2017 and more than five times his previous top paycheck.
See the rest of the story at Business Insider
Following a bombshell New York Times report, the New York State Department of Taxation and Finance said on Tuesday that it would open an investigation into President Donald Trump's family's wealth, as well as allegations of shady business practices, including what The Times characterized as "outright fraud."
But given The Times' findings of a complex series of transfers and the companies the Trump family created to facilitate them, what could investigators really do?
According to experts in tax law, investigators for New York state and the IRS have little recourse for many of the allegations in the Times report. But one avenue could open up Trump to possible penalties.
The experts cautioned, however, that while there might be some legal recourse available, it's unlikely that any investigation would yield significant consequences.
The statute-of-limitations question
Many of the practices detailed in the Times report, such as aggressively undervaluing properties on tax forms, would not open up Trump or his family to an investigation, because the IRS and New York state tax officials have already had a chance to review them via an audit.
"Whether or not the properties were undervalued, as long as their properties were disclosed to the IRS on a gift or estate tax return, after the statute runs they can't reopen it," Corey Glass, an associate with a focus in estate tax planning for high-net-worth individuals at the law firm Arnold & Porter, told Business Insider. "They had their bite at the apple when it was audited."
There is a three-year statute of limitations on federal and New York state estate and gift tax audits. The estate of the president's parents, Fred and Mary Trump, was audited in 2000, and various gift tax returns were audited in the 1990s, so officials could not reopen those cases.
But in some circumstances, the statute of limitations may not apply, said Beth Kaufman, a member of the law firm Caplin & Drysdale who has experience in estate planning.
"For many of the federal tax issues, the question would be whether the government could prove fraud, because there is no statute of limitations that applies if there is fraud," Kaufman told Business Insider via email.
Similarly, any intentional misstatements or omissions from an estate or gift tax return would mean New York never had a "bite at the apple," Glass said, which would allow investigators to assess possible civil penalties.
The transactions that could be open to scrutiny include a series of loans to Donald Trump from Fred Trump that The Times said were never repaid or were considered repaid after Fred Trump made a deal to take a position in his son's properties.
"The loans from Fred to Donald that were later deemed paid when Fred took an interest in one of Donald's entities, which he later sold back to Donald at a bargain price — this series of transactions raises significant gift tax issues," Kaufman said.
Glass said it would depend on how those loans were reported on Fred Trump's estate tax return.
If there was no repayment or interest charged, the loans should have been considered gifts and been subject to higher gift taxes. In turn, those gifts should have been disclosed on his estate tax return.
"If you made a loan and just forgave it, that's cheating the government out of potential gift tax," Glass said. "That's something no adviser or lawyer would ever advise or encourage."
Fred Trump never reported such a gift, according to The Times. If it was also left off his estate tax return, that could open up Donald Trump, an executor of the estate, to an investigation.
The estate tax return says you have to file with it "all the prior gift tax returns and also disclose all prior gifts made," Glass said. "So if all these forgiven loans were not disclosed on the return, that could be tantamount to a misrepresentation."
An IRS investigation is unlikely, but New York is another matter
Experts said they thought that if investigators were to determine a possible avenue to pursue penalties against Donald Trump and his family, the IRS wouldn't lead it.
"The likelihood of this IRS going after [Trump]?" Glass said. "Probably not."
But they said New York could step in and look at the Trump family's returns.
Federal and state authorities in New York have spearheaded investigations into a variety of Trump's business entities, most notably the Trump Organization. And the New York State Department of Taxation and Finance already has an open investigation into the Trump Foundation, the president's nonprofit.
But the likelihood of any meaningful penalties from an investigation, if one is pursued, is slim.
"In such an old case, this would be a high bar for the government to overcome," Kaufman said.
NOW WATCH: Inside the Trump 'MAGA' hat factory
A bottle of Macallan 60-year-old went for $1.1 million at auction in Edinburgh, Scotland on Wednesday.
According to a Bonhams press release, the extremely rare Macallan Valerio Adami was distilled in 1926 and bottled in 1986.
Bonhams Whiskey specialist Martin Green, who referred to the 1926 Macallan as "the Holy Grail of Whisky," noted in the same press release that its "exceptional rarity and quality puts it in a league of its own."
According to Forbes, it was purchased over the phone by a bidder in Asia.
The Macallan Valerio Adami 1926, described as the "Holy Grail of whisky", has become the world's most expensive bottle of whisky, selling for a record £848,000 at auction earlier today. pic.twitter.com/SIBV1sFXkd— The Macallan (@The_Macallan) October 3, 2018
So, just how rare is it?
It's part of a limited edition of only 24 bottles. They feature custom-designed labels by pop artists — 12 by Peter Blake and 12 by Valerio Adami.
As for the location of the other bottles, according to the BBC, another Macallan Valerio Adami was sold at auction at Bonhams Hong Kong in May. That bottle briefly held the record for the most expensive bottle of whiskey ever sold.
Yet another bottle is believed to have been destroyed in a 2011 earthquake in Japan and a third is believed to have been opened and consumed.
Whiskey lovers who are looking to enjoy their drink without breaking the bank, on the other hand, might want to consider this $17.50 whiskey that was named among the best in the world in 2018. And they may consider enjoying it over some top-tier, luxury ice.
NOW WATCH: What happens when you sleep in your contacts
When President Donald Trump earlier this year nominated Brett Kavanaugh, a federal appeals judge, to fill the vacancy on the Supreme Court left by the retirement of Justice Anthony Kennedy, it immediately created a horse race for Senate Republicans to lock down at least 50 votes in his favor. Meanwhile, Senate Democrats are looking to block the nominee.
Because of the split nature of the Senate, in which Republicans control 51 seats and Democrats have 49 (including two independents who caucus with Democrats), the confirmation process is likely to come down to the wire. Republicans need a minimum of 50 votes to confirm Kavanaugh; in that scenario, Vice President Mike Pence would cast the tiebreaking vote.
Most senators are reliable to toe the party line in voting for Kavanaugh. But the vote count is likely to be closer than ever because of two moderate Republican senators — Lisa Murkowski of Alaska and Susan Collins of Maine — and a handful of Democrats facing tough reelection bids this November in traditionally red states.
The Senate Judiciary Committee's series confirmation hearing for Kavanaugh began on September 4, when political infighting enveloped much of the panel. But the committee's chairman, Sen. Chuck Grassley of Iowa, vowed to continue moving forward with the process.
Kavanaugh's confirmation appeared to be on the ropes when Christine Blasey Ford came forward accusing him of sexually assaulting her when they were teenagers in the early 1980s. The Judiciary Committee heard additional testimony in late September from Kavanaugh and Ford.
This graphic is an ongoing whip count of who is leaning which way and whose final vote is still up in the air. It will be updated accordingly.
Read Business Insider's full coverage of the Ford-Kavanaugh hearing:
NOW WATCH: Inside the Trump 'MAGA' hat factory
I love tacos, but I'm also a horrible taco snob. I only like mine served off a truck in a parking lot in Los Angeles. I want them to be small, tasty, and very, very cheap.
Thursday, October 4 is National Taco Day, which means that this humble food will be feted far and wide. But I don't care. I only like to eat them one way, in one place.
I spent the better part of a decade eating off taco trucks in LA, and in 2007, I found MY truck: Tacos La Estrella, always parked at a gas station on Colorado Boulevard in LA's Eagle Rock neighborhood, northeast of Downtown.
Then I moved back to New York.
"You will never have good tacos again," people warned me, ominously.
Yes, when I lived in NYC a decade earlier, it was a Mexican-food wasteland. But surely, with the whole food-truck revolution, that had changed?
Nope. Every purported "taco" truck I tried was a massive fail. Tacos too big. Tacos too busy (Lettuce? Shredded cheese? Sloshings of guacamole?). Tacos uncheap. A great taco is less than $2. Period. It's usually significantly less.
Every purveyor I tried — and I got away from the trucks after a while — botched the job. New York taco-makers seemed to think that a simple little piece of street food, made from unwanted cuts of meat and rendered delicious through ingenuity and an obsession with freshness, had to be improved. More meat. Fancier preparations. Ungodly sauces.
Great tacos are an art form, every bit as exacting in the details as great sushi, but at a much, much lower price. They are street art. And this art was long ago perfected in Southern California. It should be copied, not modified.
Thankfully, after a year and a half of suffering, I got back to California for the Los Angeles Auto Show a few years back. I went straight to the parking lot, fingers crossed that my beloved truck would be there.
I'm still reeling from how wonderful it all was.
It was a gorgeous, sunny day in Eagle Rock a few years ago when I finally made a return visit after living in the City of Angels for a decade.
I headed for the gas station where I used to get my cars smog-checked.
OK, I wasn't getting this car smogged. It was a $400,000 McLaren 675LT supercar that I borrowed for a few days. But what was that in the background?
See the rest of the story at Business Insider
Democratic activists have zeroed in on Sen. Susan Collins, the moderate Maine Republican, in their battle to defeat Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh, which has reached a fever pitch as lawmakers close in on a final confirmation vote as early as Saturday.
A coalition of activists from Collins's home state have joined together with activist Ady Barkan on the political crowdfunding platform Crowdpac to lead a grassroots fundraising campaign that will support Collins's 2020 opponent if the senator votes to confirm Kavanaugh.
The unusual conditional fundraising effort has been quite successful so far — raising over $1.8 million of its $2 million goal from 64,000 donors as of Thursday. If Collins decides not to support Kavanaugh, donors will keep their money.
"Senator Collins votes NO on Kavanaugh and you will not be charged, and no money will go to fund her future opponent," the campaign platform reads. "Senator Collins votes YES on Kavanaugh and your pledge will go to her opponent's campaign, once that opponent has been identified."
One recent donor wrote on the page, "This vote will define her legacy. I hope she can live with that."
One of the few remaining centrist lawmakers in the GOP, Collins has stayed largely mum on the controversial nominee, who has been accused by three women of sexual misconduct — charges he categorically denies. Even before Kavanaugh's accusers came forward last month, Collins's vote was in question after she announced that she would not vote for the judge if he expressed any "hostility" toward Roe v. Wade, the 1973 decision that established a constitutional right to abortion.
'Anybody who thinks these tactics would work on Senator Collins obviously doesn't know her'
Liz Jaff, president of the Be A Hero PAC, which has teamed up with Maine groups, said the effort has focused most intensely on Collins because the two other moveable GOP senators — Jeff Flake of Utah and Lisa Murkowski of Alaska — appear more set on their votes, for and against Kavanaugh, respectively. The group also launched a more symbolic "rage campaign" against Sen. Chuck Grassley, 70% of the donors to which have been women.
While some ethics experts say this novel form of fundraising could violate federal bribery laws, others say that while the practice is unusual and possibly distasteful, it can't be considered bribery because it doesn't involve giving anything to Collins in exchange for her "no" vote.
Collins condemned the effort this week, describing it as an attempt to bribe or "bully" her.
"Anybody who thinks these tactics would work on Senator Collins obviously doesn't know her," Annie Clark, the senator's spokeswoman, said in a statement. "Senator Collins will make up her mind based on the merits of the nomination. Threats or other attempts to bully her will not play a factor in her decision making whatsoever."
Marie Follayttar, the co-director of Mainers for Accountable Leadership, said it's cynical for Collins to criticize a grassroots campaign when she takes millions of dollars in donations from corporations.
"It's politics at its worst," Follayttar told Business Insider. "I think it's going to be more actions and mobilization tactics like this that will take back the country and build it as a representative democracy that truly works for the people and not for corporate donors."
Activists think their strategy is working
But activists say Collins's pushback is a sign that their strategy has already been effective.
"The reason we know it's working is she really hates us," Jaff told Business Insider. "She keeps commenting on it and she keeps getting upset about it."
The campaign is something of a win-win for Democrats. Even if they're not successful in convincing Collins to vote against Kavanaugh, they will have gathered nearly $2 million and a 60,000-person email list for her 2020 challenger — significant firepower in a state as small as Maine. Jaff added that "countless groups" are ready to flood the state "the day after" a "yes" vote to begin voter registration and an effort to unseat the senator.
On Wednesday, Collins condemned President Donald Trump's mockery of Christine Blasey Ford, one of the three women who has accused Kavanaugh of sexual misconduct, at a rally in Mississippi on Tuesday night, calling the president's comments "just plain wrong."
But on Thursday, after reading part of the FBI report on its investigation into the misconduct allegations against Kavanaugh, the senator suggested that she was content with the thoroughness of the probe, which Democrats have roundly decried as being overly limited by the White House.
"It appears to be a very thorough investigation, but I am going back later today to personally read the interviews," Collins said. "That's really all I have to say right now."
NOW WATCH: Inside the Trump 'MAGA' hat factory
Millennials are embracing socialism and have a particularly negative view of President Donald Trump, according to a new BuzzFeed News and Maru/Blue poll.
Roughly one out of three millennials (31%) say they are a democratic socialist, a socialist, or would identify as either, the poll showed.
Meanwhile, the poll found nearly half of all millennial Democrats (48%) identify as democratic socialists or socialists.
The new poll, which ran from September 21 to 24 and questioned people between the ages of 22 to 37, also found millennial men are more likely to identify as democratic socialists or socialists. Overall, 39% of men identified in this way compared to 22% of women.
Additionally, the poll indicated 28% of millennials would actually be more likely to vote for a candidate running for political office if they were referred to as a "socialist," while 27% said they would be less likely. And 22% of millennials said it would make no difference to them if a candidate was a socialist.
At the height of the Cold War, it would've been unimaginable for so many young American voters to indentify as socialists or support candidates who indentify in this way, but things have clearly shifted since the fall of the Soviet Union.
According to the new poll, Trump is also quite unpopular among millennials.
Overall, 52% of those surveyed disapprove of the job Trump is doing as president, compared to 34% who approve, the poll found.
What's more, the poll indicates 60% of millennials would support an effort to impeach Trump.
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The Chinese government's reported attempts to target major tech companies with malicious hardware drew a sharp rebuke from lawmakers in Washington who said it was the latest example of China's aggression towards the US.
A Bloomberg Businessweek report Thursday alleged that Chinese government officials were able to slip tiny microchips into hardware from Supermicro, a major motherboard supplier, which could then swipe information from affected data centers. According to the report, the tainted Supermicro motherboards were used by the US government and tech giants like Amazon and Apple.
While the companies strongly denied the report, lawmakers said it was another example of China's sustained efforts to gain access to the US's security and technological secrets.
Rep. Adam Schiff, the highest-ranking Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee, told Business Insider that the report was "deeply disturbing."
"The report that China sought to infiltrate the computer chip supply chain, if true, is deeply disturbing and the latest example of the lengths that Beijing will go to in order to steal America's official and commercial secrets," Schiff said in a statement. "For many years, the House Intelligence Committee has been deeply concerned about the potential for Chinese intrusion into our supply chain and has been looking at the problem as part of the Committee's ongoing ‘deep dive’ into China."
Sen. Mark Warner, the top Democrat on the Senate Intelligence Committee, echoed the sentiment in a statement to Business Insider.
"This report provides more evidence that China’s pattern of behavior is a serious threat to national security and supply chain risk management," Warner said.
Lawmakers on Capitol Hill have been critical of Chinese technology. Earlier in the year, members criticized the Trump administration's deal to ease sanctions imposed on Chinese phone maker ZTE. The company was hit with crippling sanctions after the US determined it did business in Iran and North Korea, a direct violation of US sanctions on those countries.
The Pentagon also banned the sale of ZTE and fellow Chinese phone maker Huawei's devices on military bases, due to concerns that information on their devices could be accessed by Beijing. Likewise, the Democratic National Committee warned candidates running for office in November's midterms not to use ZTE phones on the trail.
While attempts to strengthen sanctions on ZTE in Congress came up short, a handful of bipartisan senators introduced a bill to ensure the company will be whacked with harsh penalties if it violates the terms of the Trump administration's probation.
Sen. Elizabeth Warren, one of the cosponsors of the new ZTE bill, said that the report showed that the US should focus on producing more high-tech products in the US rather than relying on Chinese manufacturers.
"China’s repeated attempts to compromise our national security and damage our economy by stealing intellectual property and corrupting the technology supply chain must stop," Warren said. "We should be taking aggressive steps to make this kind of critical hardware here in the United States, rather than importing it from foreign competitors like China."
A spokesperson for Sen. Marco Rubio, another cosponsor of the ZTE bill and a particularly vocal critic of China, told Business Insider that while the senator is still reviewing Bloomberg's story, Rubio is very worried about the Chinese efforts to confront the US.
"Marco has long warned that China is manipulating its entire society, including the Chinese technology sector, in an aggressive and long-term effort to harm our national security and economy," the spokesperson said.
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Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley lashed out at reporters during a press conference on Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh's confirmation process on Thursday, condemning what he called "bias" in the media.
The 85-year-old Iowa Republican appeared at the briefing with four other Judiciary Committee Republicans, all of whom defended Kavanaugh and the integrity of the FBI investigation into the sexual misconduct allegations against the judge — a probe that's been widely decried by Democrats as unfairly limited by the White House.
Grassley interrupted a reporter in the middle of a question to lament what he described as a breakdown in collegiality between senators of opposing parties.
"This is almost rock bottom," Grassley said, raising his voice. "I would like to have the future mending things so we can do things in a collegial way like the United States Senate ought to do ... and you folks can have something to do with this."
The senator then went on to argue that political bias in the press is partly responsible for the partisan divide in Congress.
"I would never use the word 'fake news' — I consider you folks policemen for our democratic system of government, but I want to show you where some of you have bias," he said. "I've had demonstrators in my office for two weeks now — both for Kavanaugh and against Kavanaugh. And one time, the people that were for Kavanaugh wanted to be interviewed and they said, 'We're only interested in interviewing people against Kavanaugh.'"
He added, "Now that's a bias that none of you should be proud of."
Grassley has been accused of attempting to silence Kavanaugh's accusers and rush through a vote on the nominee before Sen. Jeff Flake, an Arizona Republican, called for an FBI investigation into the allegations last week.
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China's cult of personality has gotten a whole lot weirder with the debut of a new millennial-themed quiz show devoted to the life and teachings of president and "paramount leader" Xi Jinping.
One of China's largest entertainment TV networks aimed at millennials, Hunan TV, launched the quiz program called "Socialism Is a Bit Cool: Studying Xi in the New Era," which asks contestants to answer questions focused on Xi, his upbringing, and his personal philosophies.
The show comes as Xi has slowly been cementing his grip on power over China, cracking down on his political opponents and silencing dissent using strict censorship online.
Xi's name and teachings, called "Xi Jinping Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era" have been enshrined in the country's constitution, and he has eliminated presidential term limits, effectively allowing him to rule over the nation indefinitely.
Xi now holds the most senior titles, simultaneously, of any leader in China's modern history, and his status as the Party's "core leader" evokes deep, almost spiritual admiration from citizens.
Still, the show faced major backlash on social media. On the microblogging platform Weibo, one user wrote that they were being "baptized" by the program's propaganda, according to Sixth Tone.
The show starts off with a bizarre title sequence — in space ...
The five-episode series features contestants from the country's top universities, who answer multiple-choice questions in front of a studio audience of about 100 people.
... with clips of Xi's past speeches thrown into the mix.
The show features a humanoid robot who explains the rules and tries to stump contestants with questions.
See the rest of the story at Business Insider
The battle over Brett Kavanaugh's Supreme Court confirmation is reaching its finale, with senators due to take a procedural vote on Friday. It will indicate how senators, including key undecided figures, stand on the nominee after a series of sexual-misconduct allegations were made against him.
Senators are scheduled to vote at 10:30 a.m. ET on Friday on whether to create a time window to debate Kavanaugh's nomination. Senators can debate for only 30 hours, meaning that if Friday's vote passes, a final confirmation vote on Kavanaugh could take place Saturday afternoon.
The outcome of Friday's vote could offer a strong indication of whether Kavanaugh will be successfully confirmed, though it is also possible that some senators will vote to move forward with the debate but ultimately vote against his nomination.
So even after Friday's vote, speculation as to Kavanaugh's fate on the court could continue.
Republicans make up a majority of the Senate, with 51 votes. But the Republicans Jeff Flake, Lisa Murkowski, and Susan Collins and the Democrat Joe Manchin have not yet said how they will vote and have expressed doubts about Kavanaugh's confirmation.
How those four senators vote Friday could be key to Kavanaugh's nomination.
The FBI's background report regarding sexual-misconduct allegations made against Kavanaugh by two women seemed to do little to clarify the stances of the undecided senators.
Republicans have said the report, whose contents are secret, does not offer any corroboration for the claims of Christine Blasey Ford, who says Kavanaugh sexaully assaulted her when they were in high school. Democrats slammed the report as "incomplete" and accused the White House of limiting the investigation.
Both votes require just a simple majority, which is 51 votes, to pass. Vice President Mike Pence would cast any tiebreaker.
One Republican senator, Steve Daines, is expected to miss Saturday's confirmation vote, however, for his daughter's wedding. That means Republicans could change the schedule of the vote if they believe the undecided senators seem likely to vote against Kavanaugh.
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The best bars in the world have been announced once again — and you might want to update your bucket list.
The winner of The World's Best Bar Award was announced at the iconic Roundhouse in London Wednesday night.
This year, the title went to Dandelyan, which is the bar of the Mondrian Hotel in London.
The World's 50 Best Bars is now in its 10th year and is based on the opinions of more than 500 drinks experts who cast seven votes each.
26 cities and 20 countries feature on the list, but it's the USA and the UK that lead the charge with the most bars at 10 each.
Meanwhile, Singapore leads Asia's ranking with five bars featured.
Scroll down to see this year's full list, including 12 new entries, ranked in ascending order.
50. Lost Lake (Chicago, USA)
49. Bar Benfiddich (Tokyo, Japan)
48. Buck & Breck (Berlin, Germany)
See the rest of the story at Business Insider
Prince Harry and Meghan Markle are reportedly about to move apartments within Kensington Palace, the royal residence they share with more than a dozen other major royals.
British newspaper The Sun reported that a year-long refurbishment of the 21-bedroom Apartment 1 is complete, noting that scaffolding around the buildings has been removed.
But they won't be moving far: Meghan and Harry had already been living in a cottage on the grounds, which is where Harry proposed just over a year ago.
The couple's new apartment would be directly next door to Prince William and Kate Middleton's home — they will even have adjoining doors so the family can stay close.
The palace, a royal residence since the 1600s, has seen a royal wedding and a royal birth this year —and there's another royal wedding to come, making it easily the most bustling of the royal family's many grand homes.
Within its grounds are a host of separate properties, ranging from relatively humble cottages, to the grand 20-room apartment occupied by Prince William, Kate Middleton, and their young family.
As well as royal living quarters, which tend to be relatively sedately decorated, it is also home to lavish state rooms used for grand occasions, like this one:
Here's a breakdown of who's who, and where they live in Kensington Palace:
Prince William, Kate Middleton, Prince George, Princess Charlotte, and Prince Louis: Apartment 1A
William, Kate, and their children are not only the largest group of royals in Kensington Palace but the closest to the throne.
Perhaps unsurprisingly, they have the best rooms going. The family of five occupies Apartment 1A, a collection of 20 stately rooms with a commanding view of Hyde Park.
They moved to Kensington Palace full time in October 2013, not long after their first child, Prince George, was born. Princess Charlotte followed in 2015, and Prince Louis in April 2018.
The public rarely get to see inside, but photographers were allowed to take photos of a reception room when William and Kate hosted the Obamas in 2016:
We also saw another view (or maybe even another room) where Prince George played on a rocking horse before meeting the US president.
Prince Harry and Meghan Markle: Nottingham Cottage (for now)
While they may be moving soon, until now Prince Harry and Meghan Markle have been living in a significantly less grand two-bed cottage.
They lived there before they got married on May 19, and came back two days after the ceremony to make it their marital home.
The cottage, nicknamed "Nott Cott" and often described as "snug," has been Harry's home since 2013.
Meghan moved in just after their engagement was made public in November 2017. Harry proposed to Meghan when they were spending an evening together at Nottingham Cottage, surprising her while they were roasting a chicken.
After announcing their engagement, they gave an interview from the cottage, sitting on its sofa, which is one of the only times the public has seen inside:
Traditionally, royal couples have been given bigger residences after getting married, and Apartment 1 would be a step up for the pair.
Duke of Gloucester and Duchess of Gloucester: Apartment 1 (but likely not for long)
The Duke of Gloucester, one of Queen Elizabeth II's cousins, and his wife, the Duchess of Gloucester, were the last to reside in Apartment 1. It isn't clear whether they moved out during the renovation work.
It is not clear if they continued to live in the apartment while renovations were underway. The Sun reported that the couple offered to vacate the property to make way for Prince Harry and Meghan Markle.
Like William and Kate's home at 1A, the dwelling is a large complex of rooms in the main palace building. The two used to be one enormous set of rooms until they were divided in the 1950s.
The complex has 21 rooms, slightly pipping the size of William and Kate's, but few details are available other than its overall size.
Princess Eugenie and Jack Brooksbank: Ivy Cottage
The newest royals at Kensington Palace are Princess Eugenie, who is William's and Harry's cousin, and her fiancé, Jack Brooksbank, a London socialite.
According to The Sun, the couple moved into a cottage right next to Harry and Meghan's about the same time Kate was in the hospital delivering Prince Louis.
The couple announced their engagement in January, a few weeks after getting engaged while vacationing in Nicaragua.
They are getting married at Windsor Castle in the same chapel as Harry and Meghan on October 12, but the occasion is likely to attract much less publicity.
Prince and Princess Michael of Kent: Apartment 10
Prince Michael of Kent, another of the queen's cousins but from a more junior line, lives in the main palace building with his wife.
She is known as Princess Michael, in the old-fashioned tradition by which the wives of princes take their husband's name.
This same rule means that Kate can technically be referred to as Princess William of Cambridge, and Meghan as Princess Henry of Wales, but the names are not widely used.
Their apartment, No. 10, consists of five bedrooms and five receptions rooms. They used to have use of the property rent-free, but since 2008 they have been paying a reported£10,000 ($13,600) per month in rent.
The Duke and Duchess of Kent: Wren House
The Duke of Kent, Prince Michael's older brother, also lives in the Kensington Palace grounds with his wife, the Duchess.
Their home, Wren House, is named after the famous British architect Christopher Wren, who built St Paul's Cathedral and several properties for the royal household.
Few details about their home have ever been made public. It is physically between Ivy and Nottingham cottages and appears to be of a similar size.
What about the queen?
Queen Elizabeth II lives at Buckingham Palace with her husband, Prince Philip. It's about 2 miles from Kensington Palace, across Hyde Park and Green Park.
It's not quite as cosy as living on the same property, but if Her Majesty ever wants to drop in on her cousins, grandchildren or great-grandchildren, they aren't far away.
Going all the way back to 1937, Hollywood has been in love with the rags to riches story of “A Star Is Born.”
The movie that follows the overnight success of an aspiring singer has been done by the likes of Judy Garland (in the 1954 version) and Barbara Streisand (1976), and now Lady Gaga has added her name to the roster.
We know Gaga for her incredible singing and stage persona, but for at least the rest of this year she'll also be lauded for her acting abilities. She's incredible as Ally, who is discovered by the singer-songwriter Jackson Maine (played by Bradley Cooper), who mentors her into a superstar. The two eventually also fall in love.
And if Gaga's acting ability comes as a surprise, get ready for another — Bradley Cooper can direct (wait for it...) and sing!
"A Star Is Born," which opens in theaters October 5, marks the actor’s directorial debut and he crushes it as he weaves together a story filled with emotion and heartache about love, ego, stardom, and acceptance.
Following the 1976 rock-and-roll musical version, which was nominated for four Oscars and won for best original song, the project was looking to be told once again in a modern setting. Names like Clint Eastwood were floated as a potential director, and Beyoncé, Leonardo DiCaprio, and Will Smith were all rumored to star over the years, but for the most part the project lingered in development hell. But in 2016 it was announced that Cooper had signed on to not just star but also direct and the project was on the fast track, nabbing Gaga along the way.
The movie is fueled by the chemistry between Cooper and Gaga, who performed many of the songs featured in the movie in front of live audiences. Cooper holds his own in the singing department and brings a lot of empathy to his drug and alcohol-addicted rocker character with a troubled past. But it's watching Gaga belt out the ballads with ferocious intensity that will give you goosebumps.
Along for the ride is Sam Elliott, who plays Bobby, Jackson's older brother and the one person who has looked out for him his whole life as their father was a drunk. Cooper gives Jackson a deep, twangy voice that's almost spot on to how Elliott talks, which just adds fuel to the authentic feel of the brothers' love-hate-relationship.
In the other versions of this movie, much of the focus is on the female character. But in this one, the pulse is Jackson, whose self-destructive life only brings Ally closer to him, until finally it's too much for her to handle. The last third of the movie is heart-wrenching to watch, but you can't turn away as Cooper delivers a tour-de-force performance that will certainly garner him an Oscar nomination.
In fact, there might be a lot of Oscar notice for this movie. Along with Gaga and Elliott's top-notch work, the original songs are fantastic, and the editing flawlessly delivered the fast-moving lifestyle the two main characters live.
The hype for this movie is already through the roof, and all I can say is it lives up to it.
Although it's still in your best interest to cover up your tattoos during the interview process, it's pretty unlikely that a "standard" body tattoo alone would disqualify you for the job.
It's also unlikely that ink would ruffle many feathers once you've already been hired, human resources consultant Laurie Ruettimann told Business Insider.
"Nobody gets fired for having a tattoo after you've accepted a job," Ruettimann said. "In most industries, your boss and colleagues will just shrug their shoulders and adapt to the way you look."
But there are two types of tattoos that aren't likely to fly: face and neck tattoos. Ruettimann said those tattoos will likely disqualify you from jobs where you'll be meeting clients in particular.
Marc Cenedella, founder and CEO of career website Ladders, agreed. "Face tattoos are almost always a non-starter outside of hourly work," he said.
Tattoos, in general, are becoming more mainstream; one in five Americans has one.
But tattoos above the neckline retain a non-professional air. Anna Felicity Friedman, a scholar who runs the website Tattoo Historian, told The New York Times in a recent article that face tattoos are gaining popularity among musicians because they're so shocking.
"If you want to be transgressive — and a lot of rappers want to create a transgressive character — the last frontier is the face," Friedman said. "Some of it is to give them a rebel/criminal allure. And some of it is a more artistic or free-spirit reference."
Less controversial, but still questionable, is the hand tattoo. Just like any other ink, how your coworkers perceive it depends on how progressive your industry is.
"At a law firm, people maybe will notice (a hand tattoo) more than at a tech firm where let's say nine out of 10 people already have tattoos," Vicki Salemi, a career expert at Monster.com, told The Wall Street Journal.
Whether the ink is on your face or secreted away on your ankle, few executives nowadays are tattooed. It's important to keep any tattoos hidden when shooting for higher-up roles.
"The higher you go in your career the more scrutinized your appearance will be, regardless of industry," Cenedella said.
That being said, the resistance to super-visible ink may soon change.
Younger Americans are more likely than previous generations to be tattooed and accepting of ink. Nearly 40% of those aged 18 to 29 have one. Less than a quarter of millennials say tattoos are unprofessional, compared to 63% of those 60 and older.