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The latest news from Life

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    stormy daniels

    • President Donald Trump called Stormy Daniels "Horseface" on Tuesday after winning a legal battle against her.
    • A federal judge dismissed Daniels' defamation lawsuit against Trump and ordered her to pay his legal fees.
    • Michael Avenatti, Daniels' lawyer, quickly shot back at Trump on Twitter, calling him a "disgusting misogynist and an embarrassment to the United States."

    President Donald Trump on Tuesday crowed about his court victory over Stormy Daniels, calling her "Horseface" after a federal judge dismissed her defamation lawsuit against him and ordered her to pay his legal fees.

    "Great, now I can go after Horseface and her 3rd rate lawyer in the Great State of Texas," he tweeted. "She will confirm the letter she signed! She knows nothing about me, a total con!"

    Daniels, whose real name is Stephanie Clifford, sued Trump after he accused her of lying about being threatened by an unidentified man who she said approached her in a parking lot in 2011 and told her to "leave Trump alone."

    Trump had described Daniels' allegation as "a total con job" and accused her of "playing the Fake News Media for Fools."

    Daniels, who has said she and Trump had an affair in 2006, hit back at Trump's tweet on Tuesday, suggestively mocking his manhood, which she recently described in detail in her book.

    "Ladies and Gentlemen, may I present your president," she tweeted. "In addition to his...umm...shortcomings, he has demonstrated his incompetence, hatred of women and lack of self control on Twitter AGAIN! And perhaps a penchant for bestiality. Game on, Tiny."

    Michael Avenatti, Daniels' attorney, also fired back at Trump, accusing him of sexism.

    "You are a disgusting misogynist and an embarrassment to the United States," Avenatti tweeted. "Bring everything you have, because we are going to demonstrate to the world what a complete shyster and liar you are. How many other women did you cheat on your wife with while you had a baby at home?"

    SEE ALSO: Trump scores a 'total victory' after federal judge dismisses Stormy Daniels' lawsuit and orders her to pay his legal fees

    Join the conversation about this story »

    NOW WATCH: Inside the Trump 'MAGA' hat factory


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    Ferrari 812 Superfast 5609

    • The Ferrari 812 Superfast is the successor to the F12berlinetta.
    • The 812 Superfast is the latest two-seat Ferrari GT car powered by a huge V12 engine.
    • The 812 adds about 60 horsepower on the F12, bringing the output to 789 horsepower and making it the most powerful Ferrari ever.
    • I drove a $474,000 version of the car for a weekend and was in Ferrari heaven.

    Cars with just two seats but with massive motors are, to be honest, pretty rare. Once you've seen a Corvette and an Aston Martin, you've just about seen them all.

    But there is, of course, Ferrari and its two-seater coupés that shelter immensely powerful V12 engines beneath the hood. Until relatively recently, that slot in Maranello's lineup was occupied by the F12berlinetta. But for the 2017 model year, it was replaced by the more potent 812 Superfast, the most powerful production Ferrari ever created.

    Casting around for a use case for a such a machine is difficult, but there is one: drive extremely fast for a long time. At base, the 812 is a mega-grand-tourer, the highest expression of a genre that's not about practicality but the raw pleasure of getting someplace.

    Clearly, the getting there will be done by no more than two people, and they'll be limited on what they can bring with them besides their amazement at the 812's power. (Luggage space is adequate for a weekend trip and little more.)

    As it turns out, the V12 GT was a lacuna in my Ferrari-driving experience. I had missed the outgoing F12berlinetta, so I was primed for the 812 Superfast, which arrived last year. Ferrari kindly let me borrow a $474,000 example for a few days. (The base price is $335,000.) Here's how it went.

    FOLLOW US: On Facebook for more car and transportation content!

    Believe it or not, this was Business Insider's first yellow Ferrari ("Giallo Modena," to be accurate). To be honest, not my favorite Ferrari color, but boy did it pop! And it rapidly grew on me.



    The 812 Superfast is an update of the F12berlinetta. The critical concepts here are two seats plus a massive engine, hence the very long hood.



    The car is essentially divided, with the looonnnggg hood harboring a huge V12, and the cockpit and boot bringing up the rear.



    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    Se Busca Mezcal

    • Business Insider spoke to Stoli Group Brand Ambassador Simone Bodini to find out what the difference between tequila and mezcal is.
    • It turns out tequila is actually a mezcal.
    • However, tequila is produced with blue weber agave only, and is produced only in the state of Jalisco and some municipalities of Michoacan, Nayarit, Tamaulipas, and Guanajuato.
    • A different method is also used in the production process.

    Whether you've always been a fan or are only just discovering them, there's no denying that tequila and mezcal are becoming pretty trendy.

    But if you don't actually know the difference between the two, you're probably not alone.

    Business Insider spoke to Stoli Group Brand Ambassador Simone Bodini to get to the bottom of what they really are.

    Born and bred in Italy, the 38-year-old has been in the drinks industry since 1997, and was even crowned Bartending World Champion in 2006.

    As Global Brand Ambassador, he now travels the world training, teaching masterclasses, and telling the stories of the company's brands, including Se Busca mezcal, which launched in July this year.

    "Actually, tequila is a mezcal," Bodini told Business Insider — but there are a number of ways they two are different.

    "The word mezcal comes from the nahuatl which means cooked agave," he said. "In Mexico, all the agave spirits are called mezcal, but then we have the denomination of origins."

    He explained that tequila is produced with blue weber agave only, while mezcal in general can be produced with one or a combination of the 28-39 species of agave.

    He added that tequila is also produced only in the state of Jalisco and some municipalities of Michoacan, Nayarit, Tamaulipas, and Guanajuato, while mezcal is produced in many parts of Mexico, including Oaxaca — where Se Busca is made — Durango, Guerrero, Zacatecas, Michoacan, Puebla, and San Luis Potosi.

    "To make tequila the heart of the plants or 'piñas' are usually cooked with steam (brick oven, autoclave, etc.). For the artisanal mezcal, a different method is applied — the piñas are cooked with wood fire ground ovens to give mezcal its smoky flavour profile. It's an intense labour production, handcrafted, with very low use of machines.

    "Fermentation is achieved using native wild yeasts in open vats and distillation is carried out in small volume with copper stills (batch distillation)."

    simone mezcal funny

    According to Bodini, people often assume mezcal has to come with an agave worm in the bottle, but he says this is a myth.

    "They used to put a worm in the spirit to show the difference between mezcal from tequila," he explained.

    Se Busca isn't the only new mezcal on the block

    FAMILY_LINE UP_OnWhite

    Casamigos, the brand launched by George Clooney and Rande Gerber which was bought by Diageo for $1 billion in 2017, also brought out a mezcal in February this year.

    "We were lucky enough to meet the family who was making the best mezcal in Oaxaca, Mexico and once we tried it, we knew it would eventually become part of the Casamigos family," Gerber told Business Insider. "At the time, all of our attention was focused on sharing Casamigos Tequila with the world, but we didn't want to lose the chance of having this mezcal, so we stayed in touch with them.

    "They understood our passion and commitment to Casamigos and were kind enough to be patient."

    He added that the mezcal is "smooth with no burn and smoked to perfection," thanks to the mezcal production process which creates "the distinct smoky flavour."

    'Mezcal is meant to be kissed'

    To enjoy mezcal, which Bodini calls "the most complex spirit in the world," the Stoli ambassador stressed that you don't shoot it, but instead drink it slowly, whether that's neat or in a cocktail like a margarita, mule, or Old Fashioned.

    "One reason is because mezcal is higher in alcohol volume than other spirits, so you should drink it with respect," he said. "In Oaxaca we drink Se Busca mezcal neat, sometimes with worm salt by the side."

    He added: "Also, remember that mezcal can be the produce of more than 20 species of agave, so sip it slowly so you can taste the agave notes. As the people of Mexico say 'that mezcal is meant to be kissed.'"

    If you're still confused, check out this chart which explains the difference between the two:

    STOLI INFOGRAPHIC_Mezcal vs Tequila_Final

    SEE ALSO: This is the real difference between whisky and whiskey

    SEE ALSO: These 28-year-old Londoners are taking on George Clooney's Casamigos tequila with Enemigo, a $5 million luxury brand that means 'enemy' in Spanish

    Join the conversation about this story »

    NOW WATCH: What happens when you sleep in your contacts


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    ABQ Studios AP final

    • Netflix is getting a good deal on the production hub in Albuquerque, New Mexico, that it's in the final stages of acquiring.
    • According to Variety, the streaming giant is looking to pay just $30 million to get Albuquerque Studios, which would be its first studio complex.
    • The present assessed value of the studio, which opened in 2007, is $22.7 million, less than one-third of the original $91 million cost.
    • Netflix will also receive $14.5 million in government funds.

    It's now becoming clearer why Netflix chose a production studio in Albuquerque, New Mexico, to be the home of its first studio complex: It's getting a sweet deal.

    The streaming giant is estimated to make a capital investment of about $30 million to acquire and improve Albuquerque Studios, according to Variety.

    The present assessed value of the studio, which opened in 2007, is $22.7 million, less than one-third of the original $91 million cost, Variety reported, citing information it obtained from the Bernalillo County Assessor's Office.

    If that wasn't already appealing enough for Netflix, the company will receive $14.5 million in government funds for purchasing the studio: $10 million from New Mexico and $4.5 million from Albuquerque. And Netflix titles produced in the state will be eligible for a tax credit of up to 30%, Variety reported.

    But New Mexico is expecting big things from Netflix in return.

    When it announced the deal earlier this month, Netflix said it planned to bring $1 billion in production to New Mexico over the next 10 years and create up to 1,000 production jobs a year.

    Albuquerque Studios has housed such movies as "The Avengers," "Logan," and "Sicario," as well as AMC's hit TV show "Breaking Bad." It will be used right away for Netflix shows like the dramedy "Daybreak," the supernatural drama "Chambers," and the suspense drama "Messiah."

    The 28-acre site includes eight sound stages totaling 132,000 square feet, plus 100,000 square feet of production offices.

    SEE ALSO: "First Man" screenwriter explains how truthful the ending of the movie is

    Join the conversation about this story »

    NOW WATCH: A top movie actor reveals how he learns different accents


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    minimalist desk

    • Your desk should be organized in a way that maximizes productivity and your ability to perform tasks efficiently at work.
    • A cluttered, messy desk can negatively impact your ability to perform your job.
    • Here are nine things you should never keep at your desk.

     

    Organization comes naturally to some, but for others, it's just not in their nature. Maybe you're too busy to clean up, or perhaps organized chaos works well for you.

    Regardless, a messy desk can negatively impact productivity and your ability to perform tasks efficiently at work, according to a study published in The Harvard Business Review.

    Additionally, some of the items you keep on your desk may not be appropriate for the workplace, such as political items or documents with sensitive information.

    Whether your place of work is cubicle, corner office, or open layout, here are nine things you should never keep at your desk:

    SEE ALSO: 6 things you should always keep at your desk

    1. Lunch

    You may think it's wise  to eat lunch at your desk, when in fact, it could actually hurt your productivity.

    In a 2015 NPR article, Professor Kimberly Elsbach of the University of California, Davis Graduate School of Management noted, "We know that creativity and innovation happen when people change their environment, and especially when they expose themselves to a nature-like environment, to a natural environment."

    "So staying inside, in the same location, is really detrimental to creative thinking. It's also detrimental to doing that rumination that's needed for ideas to percolate and gestate and allow a person to arrive at an 'aha' moment," Elsbach said.



    2. Dirty coffee mugs

    Unwashed coffee mugs lying around can add clutter your workspace.

    "It's best to take a minute and leave your coffee mug in the kitchen immediately after usage," Valli Vishnubhotla, digital PR manager at AW Media, told Business Insider.



    3. Political items

    "Although everyone is entitled to their beliefs and opinions, your work colleagues may take umbrage to your political viewpoint," business coach and entrepreneur Eugene Gamble told Business Insider.

    This can lead to unnecessary work tension and conflict. Gamble suggested keeping your political views separate from the workplace.



    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    Arizona Senate candidate Rep. Martha McSally with Mitt Romney

    • Rep. Martha McSally, the Republican running for retiring Sen. Jeff Flake's Arizona Senate seat, accused her Democratic opponent of supporting treason during a contentious Monday night debate. 
    • McSally referred to a comment that Rep. Krysten Sinema made during a recently unearthed 2003 interview in which she advocated her anti-war positions and offhandedly condoned the libertarian radio host's suggestion that he join the Taliban. 
    • McSally has seized on Sinema's history of progressive activism, painting her as a left-wing Democrat masquerading as a centrist. 

    Taking a page from President Donald Trump's playbook, Rep. Martha McSally, the Republican running for retiring Sen. Jeff Flake's Arizona Senate seat, accused her Democratic opponent, Rep. Krysten Sinema, of supporting treason during a contentious Monday night debate. 

    A Trump-endorsed former Air Force colonel, McSally referred to a comment that Sinema, who was an anti-war activist during law school in the early 2000s, made during a 2003 interview with a libertarian radio show host. The interview was uncovered in a CNN report last week

    In response to host Ernest Hancock's hypothetical proposition — following a long and confusing rant — that he "go fight in the Taliban army," Sinema said, "Fine. I don't care if you want to do that, go ahead."

    Sinema quickly pivoted back to her anti-war argument. 

    "What we're talking about here are two different things," she said. "When you say, 'We owe something to the world,' my definition of owing something to the world does not involve war and destruction."

    During Monday's debate, McSally accused Sinema of endorsing treason. 

    "I want to ask right now whether you're going to apologize to the veterans and me for saying it's OK to commit treason, Kyrsten," she said.

    Sinema called the question "ridiculous" and accused McSally of "smearing" her. 

    A spokeswoman for Sinema's campaign told CNN last week that Sinema's comment was "clearly offhand and an effort to get back on the topic of why she opposed the war."

    McSally has seized on Sinema's history of progressive activism, painting her opponent as a left-wing Democrat masquerading as a centrist, and attempted to contrast it with her record of military service. 

    "While we were in harm's way, she was protesting our troops in a pink tutu," McSally says in an attack ad that includes a photo of Sinema in a pink outfit at a protest.

    Earlier this year, Trump also accused Democrats of committing treason when they did not clap during his State of the Union address. The White House later said the president was "obviously joking."

    SEE ALSO: Here are the country's most and least popular senators

    Join the conversation about this story »

    NOW WATCH: Inside the Trump 'MAGA' hat factory


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    Fender

    • Fender partnered with a research consultancy and a neuroscientist to learn about guitar players.
    • The results of that research suggest that playing guitar could contribute to well-being.
    • A surprising number of new guitar players have no rock-star ambitions whatsoever.
    • Fender has also gathered interesting data from its Fender Play online learning system, which launched last year.


    When it comes to guitars, and electric guitars in particular, no company is bigger than Fender. The 72-year-old company has a 47% market share and is legendary for its axes and amplifiers, which are used by pop, rock, jazz, blues, and country royalty.

    Jimi Hendrix played a Fender Stratocaster. Eric Clapton still plays one. And with instruments ranging in price from $100 to many thousands (for special orders from the company's custom shop), a lot of aspiring and established musicians start out with Fender gear and later use it to make a living.

    But as musical tastes evolve, questions have arisen about the future of rock-n-roll and the destiny of the guitar as a symbol of creativity. 

    To investigate the contemporary guitar zeitgeist, Fender recently joined forces with research consultancy Egg Strategy and McGill University neuroscientist and author Daniel Levitin. The research covered 500 individuals in the US and UK, and the results were published in a report titled "Illuminating the State of Today's Guitar Players."

    Some of the findings confirmed what many people already knew: playing guitar can be good for you. But for Fender and its business, there were also some surprises.

    The company already understood that a relatively small number of guitarists harbored rock-star ambitions. That isn't a concern for Fender, given that many current and future rock stars do make use of its gear. But the report also revealed that 72% of players took up the instrument to improve themselves, and 50% of guitarists in the United Kingdom play for themselves, rather than aiming to entertain an audience. Guitar players might also be looking to improve their well-being.

    Wandering through music might increase productivity

    Fender Play

    Fender sought the help of Levitin, whose 2007 book, "This Is Your Brain on Music: The Science of a Human Obsession," delves in the role music has played in human evolution. 

    "Letting your mind wander is the key to reducing anxiety," Levitin said in a statement. "We get our minds to wander by walking in nature or playing music — that's what hits the reset button on the brain. Even just 15 minutes of 'wandering' and playing an instrument can increase productivity."

    That's a good thing to keep in mind for any aspiring guitarist who thinks they have to practice for hours a day and achieve mastery in order to justify buying an instrument. 

    According to Fender CEO Andy Mooney, the company has also learned some intriguing things about its customers since last year's launch of Fender Play, an online guitar-instruction system. 

    "We have 67,000 users in Fender Play," Mooney told Business Insider. "Our assumption was that it would be mostly young people picking up the guitar for the first time. But a much larger percentage is at the upper end of age spectrum. They see it as way to self-develop, as a meditative investment in themselves."

    Beneficially, those older players have both money and time, so they can commit to more learning at a slower place — and purchase more of Fender's pricier equipment. But younger players haven't disappeared. And Fender learned that 50% of new players are women.

    To a large extent, this pattern is an early sign that Fender Play is achieving key goals: bringing new players into the fold, decreasing the rate of attrition, and growing the overall market. It's a well-known fact that most new players abandon the guitar after a short period of time and never return to it. Mooney reasoned that if the abandonment rate could be lowered by just 10%, Fender Play could assist in giving music-industry sales a huge boost.

    He said that this would logically raise all boats — including those of Fender's competitors — but that Fender would reap considerable returns, given that it controls nearly half of the market. Sales have been improving, and for Fender, the needle has been moving up on prices across the company's entire range. In September, it shipped more equipment than any previous month in its long history, and its factories are running at capacity.

    Rumors of the guitar's demise, it seems, have been exaggerated. 

    Fender Play

    Challenges remain, however

    "Nearly half of beginners stated they quit learning an instrument due to time constraints, and 33% of beginners shared they were not growing skills fast enough or as fast as they thought they would," Fender said in a statement about the Egg Strategy research. "The reality is that it's much easier for a person to binge-watch a Netflix series in their free time than learn guitar, but the rise of digital technology also has an upside, especially for specific types of learners."

    Mooney said that Fender has observed Play users dividing into two groups: one that wants quick results; and another that's more patient. The resource is designed to address the needs of each contingent; it can be used on desktop and laptop computers, as well as iOS and Android mobile devices.

    The company has also unveiled a new incentive to spur people to commit to Play for the long haul. On Tuesday, Fender started offering an $89.99 yearly subscription that comes with a 10% discount on Fender equipment purchased through the company's e-commerce channel or at participating retailers. That 10% savings on  an $825 Classic Player Jazzmaster guitar, for example, would return almost your entire Play annual subscription. 

    Previously, the Play service was only offered at a $9.99 monthly fee, following a free trail. (With that option, users can cancel whenever they want.)

    I've tested Play and found it to be an excellent way to learn guitar and improve one's skills. 

    According to Levitin, developing your musical side also appears to be a great way to stave off the negative effects of aging — and to enhance your cognitive talents early in life. He has explored this in his own research, going back two decades.

    "After 60, playing an instrument can help you retrain and remap neural circuits that are inclined to atrophy, which helps you stay mentally young,” Levitin said. "Learning an instrument can also help develop your brain when you are a kid."

    SEE ALSO: I spent a few months using Fender's online guitar-learning tool — and I was surprised by how much I learned

    Join the conversation about this story »

    NOW WATCH: This man's life changed forever when a stranger gave him a guitar 15 years ago — now he's trying to find him


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    mcconnell pence trump ryan

    • The Treasury Department reported that the budget deficit grew to $779 billion in fiscal 2018.
    • A primary reason for the increase in the deficit was a decrease in revenue due to the GOP tax law.
    • The evidence so far contradicts Republicans leaders and the Trump administration's argument that the tax law would pay for itself.
    • While there may still be a revenue boost from the law, the early returns do not look encouraging, and most forecasters expect the deficit to grow.

    Republicans said their tax law was supposed to pay for itself. But according to new data from the Treasury Department, their overhaul of the tax code isn't producing the desired result.

    The Treasury said the budget deficit hit $779 billion for fiscal 2018 — which was October 2017 through September 2018 — the highest level since 2012.

    A significant part of the deficit increase was due to anemic revenue growth, largely from big tax cuts from the new GOP-led tax law, which went into effect earlier this year.

    Particularly significant is the corporate tax side of the ledger, where the effects of the law have already taken hold. While most Americans have not yet filed their taxes under the new system, corporations pay taxes quarterly and have already been operating under the new lower rate.

    According to Treasury data, tax revenue from corporate returns dropped 31% in fiscal 2018 compared with fiscal 2017. Meanwhile, individual tax revenue was up 6.1%, and total revenue increased by just 0.4% from fiscal 2017.

    An analysis by the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget found that the revenue increase was historically low.

    "This revenue growth rate is the eighth lowest in the past 50 years, and the seven lower years either coincided with a recession or tax cuts/expiring tax increases enacted shortly after a recession," the report said. "As we have noted, though, even this slight revenue growth understates how much the 2017 tax law is reducing revenue since the fiscal year totals include revenue raised from the pre-tax law code."

    Republican leaders and the Trump administration said last year that the increased economic growth due to the tax bill would cause more money to flow to businesses and people, producing more tax revenue.

    Even after several nonpartisan think tanks and the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office estimated that the bill would add to the federal deficit, Republican leaders remained steadfast in saying the tax cuts would eventually pay for themselves or even reduce the deficit.

    "I not only don't think it will increase the deficit, I think it will be beyond revenue-neutral," Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said on December 4. "In other words, I think it will produce more than enough to fill that gap."

    In August, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said the law would end up reducing the deficit.

    "So we're humming along on where projections are, and as I've said, at 3% economic growth, this tax plan will not only pay for itself but in fact create additional revenue for the government," he said in an interview with CNBC.

    The CBO expects the deficit to expand to $973 billion in fiscal 2019, with $228 billion due to reduced revenue as a result of the GOP tax law.

    But it's still early — the tax law hasn't yet been in effect for a full year, and a revenue boost could come later.

    Daniel Clifton, an expert on economic policy at Strategas Research Partners, pointed out that the positive economic feedback and revenue boost from the 2003 tax-cut package did not take effect until a full year after it passed.

    "Over 5 years, the projected $317bn cost of the 03 tax cut never materialized," Clifton tweeted Tuesday, adding that because of higher levels of economic growth and capital gains tax revenue, tax revenue exceeded pre-tax-cut expectations.

    "The 17 tax change did not include cap gains tax cut," he said. "Feedback effect will be less but strong."

    But for the revenue side of the ledger to pick up significantly, there would need to be a sustained increase in gross-domestic-product growth, which few forecasters are projecting.

    SEE ALSO: The US budget deficit ballooned to $779 billion this year, the highest since 2012, driven by Trump's tax law and the massive budget deal

    Join the conversation about this story »

    NOW WATCH: Inside the Trump 'MAGA' hat factory


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    BERLIN, GERMANY - JUNE 19: Former FBI Director James Comey talks backstage before a panel discussion about his book 'A Higher Loyalty' on June 19, 2018 in Berlin, Germany. Comey is in Berlin at the invitation of the American Academy in Berlin. (Photo by Carsten Koall/Getty Images)

    • Former FBI Director James Comey donated the maximum legal amount to Democratic US House candidate Jennifer Wexton.
    • Comey has typically donated to Republicans, including the presidential campaigns for Mitt Romney and John McCain.

    WASHINGTON — Former FBI Director James Comey has broken his streak of donating to Republicans, giving the maximum legal amount to one of the most competitive House races in the country.

    According to Federal Election Commission filings, Comey gave $2,700 in September to Jennifer Wexton's campaign to unseat incumbent Republican Rep. Barbara Comstock in Virginia's 10th congressional district.

    Comey, whom President Donald Trump fired early into his presidency, has traditionally donated to Republican candidates. He donated to Mitt Romney's presidential campaign in 2012 and John McCain's in 2008, as did his wife, Patrice Comey.

    Comey revealed during a congressional hearing in 2016 that he is no longer a registered member of the GOP, but had been for most of his adult life.

    During his book tour earlier this year, Comey said the Republican Party does not reflect his values anymore.

    "I see the Republican Party, as near as I can tell, reflects now entirely Donald Trump's values," he said in an interview with ABC News. "It doesn't reflect values at all. It's transactional, it's ego-driven, it's in service to his ego."

    "I can't imagine a circumstance of me voting for President Trump, given what I think he reflects in terms of values," he added. "If we don't get that right, we can waste all the time we want to waste on fighting about policy. We're losing something that is essential to America."

    SEE ALSO: SENATE BATTLEGROUND MAP: The race for control of the Senate is as tight as it can be

    Join the conversation about this story »

    NOW WATCH: Inside the Trump 'MAGA' hat factory


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    Brett Kavanaugh

    • The FBI has investigated allegations of sexual assault and misconduct dating back to the 1980s against Brett Kavanaugh, who was confirmed as a Supreme Court justice earlier this month.
    • For women who came of age in the '80s, it's bringing back some painful memories about the prevalence of sexual assault and how survivors weren't always believed or supported when they came forward.
    • Business Insider interviewed three people who shared their recollections of attending Yale University at the same time as Kavanaugh and Deborah Ramirez, a former classmate who has accused him of sexual misconduct.

    The controversy around allegations of sexual misconduct and assault against Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh, who was confirmed to the nation's highest court earlier this month, dominated the headlines for weeks.

    For many women who came of age and went to college in the 1980s, it's bringing back some painful memories of their own experiences with sexual assault — and of not always being supported in coming forward.

    Deborah Ramirez, one of Kavanaugh's classmates in Yale University's Class of 1987, has accused him of exposing himself to her at a party during their freshman year in the fall of 1983. The FBI investigated her allegation as part of a supplemental background check into Kavanaugh.

    Business Insider interviewed three people who attended Yale in the '80s. They said that sexual assault and the stigma around discussing and reporting it were much bigger than the specific allegations against Kavanaugh, pervading both Yale's campus and American culture at the time.

    One of Ramirez's acquaintances at Yale, who spoke to Business Insider on the condition of anonymity to candidly discuss the matter, said they believed Ramirez's allegation based on their experience knowing her and given the climate at the time.

    "Three words I think describe Debbie as I experienced her were guileless, genuine, and friendly. She was also shy, not attention-seeking or dramatic in any way," the person said.

    "I just feel very strongly that Debbie did this out of a sense of duty and obligation and not out of political motivation," they added. "If I had any way to know the actual truth, I would bet my house on it."

    According to her lawyer, Ramirez spoke to the FBI about her allegation and provided the bureau a list of witnesses who could confirm it. But a subsequent report in The New Yorker said the FBI ignored several witnesses who might be able to corroborate her story.

    "Anyone who was a teen or a young woman in those days had experiences like that," Ramirez's friend continued. "Was it confined to Yale? In my experience, no. I think it's taken a lot of us a long time to realize that things that occurred were misconduct. The concept of date rape, for example, was considered cutting-edge at that time."

    Julie Heller, who graduated from Yale in 1988 and also knew Ramirez, told Business Insider that while Yale wasn't "a breeding ground" for sexual assault, in her experience, she didn't have any reason to doubt Ramirez's allegation or other former Yale students' characterizations of Kavanaugh as a heavy, aggressive drinker.

    "I didn't see any bad behavior by [Kavanaugh] personally, but it's hard for me to imagine all the things people are saying aren't true," she said. "I knew many people who drank at Yale, and most of them didn't get belligerent or sexually assault anyone."

    In the wake of the Kavanaugh controversy, many survivors of sexual assault have gone public with their stories of why they didn't initially report their assaults — and in many cases, of being revictimized or shamed when they did.

    Heller said she believed that many survivors of sexual assault in the early '80s didn't report them because she and her peers "didn't have the verbiage" to describe instances of assault that weren't rape.

    She said that when she was assaulted after a party during her freshman year, she didn't believe that what happened was serious enough to bring to the police.

    "I didn't go to the police because I didn't think what had happened to me rose to the level of what a police officer would handle," she said, adding, "I thought to myself, 'Well, at least I wasn't raped.'"

    'Yale's apparatus was there to protect Yale'

    Yale 1980s

    Beth Almore, a schoolteacher in Virginia who also graduated from Yale in 1988, told Business Insider that, in her experience, since the Yale administration didn't do enough to address sexual assault on campus, women had to take their safety into their own hands.

    "During my freshman year, a group of women had made flyers on how to keep yourself safe from sexual assault on the Yale campus and distributed them around the dining halls, which was the best way to reach people before cellphones," she recalled. "It named frats you shouldn't go to, and what is likely to happen if you go to certain parties on campus, and which ones to avoid."

    Almore remembered Yale at the time as being "saturated in alcohol," with parties every night of the week and both hard alcohol and drugs freely available. She also recalled that despite the stigma around discussing it, "sexual assault was more common than it should have been."

    "Everywhere we went, we had to worry about our safety," she said.

    Heller said that her experience showed that sexual assault could and did happen even to people who took extra precautions to ensure their safety on campus.

    "He offered to walk me home from a party when it was late and I knew I shouldn't be walking by myself," she said of her assailant. "The ironic thing was that accepting a walk back to my dorm, which seemed like the smart thing to do, is actually what resulted in my getting assaulted."

    Heller remembered feeling "demoralized" when she went through the process of reporting her assault to Yale's administration.

    "I started to go through Yale's grievance process, which at the time was incredibly demoralizing. I did not feel supported at all," Heller recalled. "The professor I met with told me that since it was a 'he said, she said' situation, he and I could each bring three witnesses to back up our stories to the panel, but ultimately the worst thing that might happen to him was being put on academic probation."

    She added: "It was mind-blowing to me. I was so traumatized, and hearing that completely demoralized and revictimized me. So I didn't pursue it."

    Almore said she and her friends not only had protection plans for parties, but made a pact to go straight to the New Haven police and not Yale if they were victims of a violent crime.

    "Yale's apparatus was there to protect Yale and Yale's reputation, and to limit their own liability," she said.

    She added that while she didn't have direct experience with Yale's police, she recalled based on the experiences of many of her peers when she was a student that "women, or anyone who went to the [Yale] police with any type of reporting, not just potential sex crimes, felt unheard, silenced, or ignored."

    A representative for Yale said that while they could not comment on specific students' experiences and memories, "the policies, procedures, and resources we have in place today reflect a great deal of experience, research, consultation, and input from our community, including our students."

    "As our response to sexual misconduct continues to evolve, we are committed to being a community free of sexual misconduct and providing resources and support that encourage everyone with a concern or complaint to come forward," the representative added.

    Join the conversation about this story »

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    worrying thinking stress

    • Procrastinating on difficult tasks and missing out on collaboration are some of the ways you may be making your life harder at work.
    • Here are four ways you're making your job harder than it needs to be, and how to fix them.

     

    If going into work feels like slogging through mud, you may be making your job (and your life) harder than it needs to be.

    When you're struggling with your career, everything in life can feel out of whack, and your feelings can snowball until you really hate work. Such a situation can lead to burnout, weak job performance, and eventually, getting fired or needing to quit.

    But almost any situation on the job can be improved if you just get out of your own way.

    Here are four ways you're making your job harder than it needs to be, and how to fix them:

    SEE ALSO: 11 career experts share the best job advice they've ever received

    You're putting off tackling difficult tasks

    As best-selling author and time management expert Brian Tracy wrote, "Start with the biggest, hardest, and most important task first."

    The concept, also known as "eating a frog," is said to have come from Mark Twain. If you eat a frog first thing in the morning, you can generally be sure that it’s the worst thing you’ll have to do all day. Once you have accomplished this, the other tasks won’t seem as difficult, and it should be smooth sailing for the rest of the day.

    Look at your to-do list every day and figure out the most difficult things on the list. Get them done and out of the way right off the bat. Don’t procrastinate — that will just prolong your suffering, reduce your productivity, and get in your way until you have finished it.



    You isolate yourself instead of reaching out for help

    You can't do it all yourself, and you will get more done if you trust your colleagues and direct reports to take on some of the work.

    Inga Beale, chief executive at Lloyd's of London, told the New York Times in 2017 that her secret to success is to "surround yourself with the best people you can find and empower them."

    You may feel that you can do everything better than anyone else, but let go of some of your perfectionism to allow someone else's way to be good enough. And if they fail — that's the best way to learn, right? Find a way to work with the people around you, rather than feeling threatened by them.

    According to a study from Stanford University, just the feeling of working together with others can increase motivation when working alone and help turn "work into play."

    Working together not only increases the enjoyment of work, but it can also improve workplace relationships, which in turn can improve trust, foster greater creativity, and even improve your health.



    You struggle with indecision

    If you have decisions to make at work, and you spend time agonizing over finding the very best choice in a situation, you can drive yourself crazy. You could also be setting yourself up for more misery later.

    As Tim Herrera, the founding editor of Smarter Living, wrote in the New York Times, trying to find the absolute best choice may lead to "indecision, regret and even lower levels of happiness." People who insist on finding the absolute best solution to a problem tend to be less satisfied with their choices than people who make quicker decisions.

    Try to make a good decision, one where you will be fine with the outcome. Then move on to other tasks. You’ll waste less time and feel better, too.



    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    trump jerome powell

    • President Donald Trump attacked the Federal Reserve once again on Tuesday during an interview with Fox Business.
    • "My biggest threat is the Fed, because the Fed is raising rates too fast", Trump said.
    • Trump has recently waged a sustained campaign against the Fed, calling their interest rate hikes "crazy" and "loco."

    President Donald Trump on Tuesday went after the Federal Reserve with some of his harshest language yet during a Fox Business Network interview.

    Trump claimed that the biggest problem facing the US economy and stock market is the Fed's path of interest rate hikes under Chairman Jerome Powell. The central bank has been increasing interest rates for close to the past three years.

    "My biggest threat is the Fed, because the Fed is raising rates too fast," Trump told Fox Business host Trish Reagan. "And it’s independent, so I don’t speak to them, but I’m not happy with what he’s doing because it’s going too fast. Because you looked at the last inflation numbers — they are very low."

    The Fed's interest rate increases theoretically make it more expensive for businesses and companies to borrow money from banks. This decreases the amount of capital flowing around the financial system and eventually curtails economic growth. Interest rate hikes are also thought to curtail price increases and prevent runaway inflation.

    But the Fed is currently increasing interest rates from the 0% level — a historic low set during the financial crisis — and many indicators of lending remain loose. So while the Fed appears to be moving toward a position that could curtail growth, it's unclear if the central bank is there yet.

    Even the threat of a possible headwind to economic growth, however, has provoked Trump into a series of attacks on the Fed and Powell.

    Over the past few decades, presidents have typically refrained from commenting on the Fed's interest rate policy, since the central bank is independent and presidential pressure on the Fed typically ends in disaster. But as with many other aspects of the office, Trump has broken tradition.

    In recent weeks Trump railed against the Fed, saying the central bank "has gone crazy" and calling their interest rate hikes "loco."

    "I really disagree with what the Fed is doing," Trump told reporters October 10 in Pennsylvania.

    SEE ALSO: Trump keeps bashing the Fed, calling the central bank 'loco' and 'crazy.' An ugly economic lesson from the Nixon administration shows why his criticism is so worrying.

    Join the conversation about this story »

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    t pain

    • T-Pain's new Fuse show, "T-Pain's School of Business," finds the recording artist interviewing the founders of successful product startups. 
    • T-Pain spoke to Business Insider about the startups featured on his series premiere, the influence of his music, and his upcoming work.

     

    Nearly a decade and a half out from the start of his music career, T-Pain decided to follow his side interest in startup culture into the world of reality business shows.

    "T-Pain's School of Business," which premieres Tuesday on Fuse at 11 pm ET, finds the recording artist interviewing the founders of a wide range of successful product startups.

    Speaking to Business Insider during a phone call from his studio last week, T-Pain discussed the startups featured on his series premiere, including a marijuana-infused wine and an all-in-one instrument for musicians, the popular influence of his music, and what we can expect from his upcoming work.

    This interview has been lightly edited and condensed for clarity.

    John Lynch: I was relieved to hear you swearing and joking on the show. I was worried with this type of show that we might see a PG T-Pain. 

    T-Pain: Oh, no [laughs]. I am who I am on any platform.

    Lynch: And Fuse was a good home for it? 

    T-Pain: Yeah, they were the only people who would actually let me do my thing, so yeah, definitely a good home.

    Lynch: What inspired you to do this type of business show?

    T-Pain: Mostly because I was already doing it at home, going through Kickstarter and IndieGoGo and all the funding sites. I was just trying to bring something that I already liked doing to TV. Not much other motivation than that, man. It was just a great idea. I told Fuse what I was doing on a daily basis, and they were like, "Man, that'd be a great show." And here we are.

    Lynch: How did you approach hosting it?

    T-Pain: It wasn't really a hard decision on how I was going to approach it, because like I said, I was already doing it, and I talk to a lot of entrepreneurs everyday. You've gotta imagine the number of people that come up to me everyday saying they have great ideas, or looking for funding. But a lot of these companies that I talked to on the show were already successful. I felt like it was more of an opportunity to teach than anything else, because I didn't want to have a show where I'm like, "I know all about making money. Here's how you do it — do this," or you know, I'm not shutting anybody down. That seemed like a terrible idea.

    I just wanted it to be organic, natural, pretty much uplifting, and very, very informative. That was the most important thing. I wanted it to be informative and not just showing off how much money these people have made and how dope their products are. I wanted information behind the development, information behind the process, what made you come up with this idea. I wanted to motivate younger and up-and-coming entrepreneurs as well, so it helps out a lot to have an informative show, and not just something that's super duper fun and you learn nothing.

    t pain artiphon

    Lynch: One of the products that you seemed to like a lot was the Artiphon 1, this all-in-one instrument that raised $1 million on Kickstarter. What did you think of playing that, and have you used it at all since then?

    T-Pain: Yeah, I'm literally looking at it right now [laughs]. I'm in my studio, and I've got it hooked up in my studio right now. The Artiphon is such a new take on something that sort of existed, but there's been nothing like it so far that I've seen, other than normal Midi controllers and the keyboards that you can bring in and turn into Midi controllers. It's such a different thing, like with the iBow that you can use your phone and treat it like a violin, and the guitar aspect of it, you can play a piano like a guitar. So many different ways you can use it. You can make your own custom pads. And it's just one thing that fits into your backpack. Before I saw this product, using my laptop in my hotel room, I would have to bring a keyboard, a small guitar, a record device, but all of that is in that Artiphon, so it helps out a lot. 

    t pain

    Lynch: Another product you tried was a weed-infused wine. That you seemed more skeptical of, which I think was right — it seemed like a bizarre scenario.

    T-Pain: [laughs] Yeah, that was actually pretty cool, man. I wasn't chill about it at first because I'm just not a weed guy. I'm just terrible at weed on any account. I don't know how somebody can be bad at weed, but I'm just real bad at weed. I can't do edibles, I can't smoke weed, but then I drank that, and man, I was actually pretty chill. Usually I'm freaking losing my mind or something like that, but there wasn't a crazy dosage of THC in it, so I bet that helps out a lot, and also I like drinking. But yeah, it worked fairly quickly and very effectively. 

    Lynch: To go back to music technology, as one of the modern originators of autotune, what was it like for you to see that technology and that style really take off in the years after your first album?

    T-Pain: It was pretty cool, man, to be an innovator. Not that I invented autotune or was the first person to use it or anything like that. A lot of people have complained that they did it before me, and I'm grateful for that and, hey, maybe they motivated me, I don't know, but it didn't take off like it did after I did it. To see myself as somebody that brought it to the forefront and made it popular, I'm really glad I did it. That's something under my belt that I can keep going and tell my grandkids about. 

    Lynch: And you're still — you haven't exhausted it, you still like using autotune as a tool?

    T-Pain: Oh, absolutely. I can't stop doing something that I started. It's a pretty cool thing for me, and it's part of my sound. So I don't want to change too much. If it ain't broke don't fix it, you know. It's one of those things.

    Lynch: You had a recent back-and-forth on Twitter with Delta airlines about your distaste for their runway music, and they ended up playing "Buy U a Drank" on one of your flights. Is that, or what's the strangest place you've heard one of your songs?

    T-Pain: Probably in a church [laughs]. That was weird.

    Lynch: You said "in a church"? [laughs]

    T-Pain: Yeah, I didn't think they would be doing that, but hey, they used it, flipped the words around to talk about God and Jesus, and yeah, I'm all about it. I have no problem with that.

    Lynch: Which song was it?

    T-Pain: It was "Bartender," which was weird. They flipped that around and made it about "the word." So that was pretty cool.

    Lynch: Prepping for this call, I had a sharp flashback to being an emotional white kid listening to "I'm Sprung" on like a CD player, back in the day [laughs]. I'm wondering, is there an era of your career that you're particularly nostalgic for or proud of?

    T-Pain: I think the "THR33 RINGZ" era. I feel like I got more creative in that time, and I took more risks with the style of clothing I was wearing, and coming out with all these props at my shows. And that's another thing that really brought me to doing this TV show was taking risks, and just seeing how difficult it is to really believe in yourself when nobody else knows what the hell is going on. Because if I would have listened to people when I came up with the whole circus theme [for "THR33 RINGZ"], that whole album would have never happened. It helped to believe in myself and get to a point where I could channel my inner entrepreneur and just go for it, and do things on the road that nobody had seen before, and it worked out.

    Lynch: You just dropped a second volume of "Everything Must Go." Why release free collections of your songs at this time  why must everything go?

    T-Pain: Well, for one, I don't feel like buying any more hard drives, and I'm running out of room on all the ones my music is on. So if I'm running out of space on a four terabyte drive, then I just need to either delete all the music I got on there or just release it. I'm not using it for anything or making money off it sitting in the ol' hard drive, then why not just give it to the people? It's just something to bring awareness that I'm still here, same type of music. It was music I made in my leisure. I mean, the only way I would capitalize off of it is if one of the songs becomes a hit and I go touring off of that song for some reason, I don't know why, but it's not really a priority of mine at this present time.

    Lynch: How are you thinking about your next official release  I'm assuming you're in the studio for it?

    T-Pain: Yeah, it's actually coming pretty soon, like really really soon. Like less than two months soon. So I'm just in the studio getting it done. We got the final tracks. I just sent in all the sessions for mixing. It's pretty much like, not so much a surprise, but basically like I'm doing everything on the go. The game isn't really big on promoting anymore anyways, so it's just like a thing I'm doing. I'm not seeing it as a big, life-changing thing I'm doing, but it's definitely something I want to put out in the world.

    Lynch: How are you conceptualizing it musically?

    T-Pain: I don't think I'm coming at it with any particular concept or anything like that. Conceptually, it's just me enjoying music again. It's just a vast array of things that I've had on my mind recently. There was a point where music didn't really mean as much to me as it used to, so just getting back in the groove and really enjoying it again is what you would get out from it. If I had to lay a concept to it, I think it's just me having fun [laughs]. That's all it boils down to. 

    "T-Pain's School of Business" premieres Tuesday night on Fuse at 11 pm ET.

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    • The 2018 midterm elections are just three weeks away, but if you won't be able to vote in person, there's still time to request and send in your absentee ballot if you're registered to vote in the US.
    • Most military service members, US citizens living overseas, people who will be away from their polling place on election, or those who cannot vote in person due to religious conflicts or disability are eligible to vote absentee, but be sure to check your state's requirements first.
    • Here are the deadlines in every state to request and mail in your ballot if you'll be voting absentee.

    The 2018 midterm elections are just three weeks away, but if you're registered to vote in the US and won't be able to do so in person, there's still time to request and send in your absentee ballot.

    While states all have different requirements for receiving a ballot, most military service members, US citizens living abroad, college students, or people who will otherwise be away from their polling place for another reason, including a disability or religious conflict, are eligible to vote absentee in the November 6 election.

    All states allow voters to request ballots by mail, but only some permit in-person requests. Virginia is the only state where voters can apply for an absentee ballot online.

    You can check your voter registration status and request a ballot in your state here.

    If you request a ballot but don't receive it in time to mail in back by your state's deadline, you can fill out the Federal Absentee Write-in Ballot as a backup. In the meantime, you can use Ballotpedia's sample ballot lookup tool for information on all the federal, state, and local elections and/or ballot initiatives that you'll be voting on this fall.

    Here are the deadlines in every state to request and mail in your ballot if you'll be voting absentee:

    last days apply absentee ballot table

    last day send absentee ballot table

    SEE ALSO: Here is the last day you can register to vote in every state

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    lottery winner

    • The Mega Millions jackpot has reached a record high $868 million after nobody won on Tuesday.
    • While it may be tempting, buying a lottery ticket is almost certainly not worth it.
    • History has shown us countless examples of lottery winners whose lives took a turn for the worse after hitting the jackpot.

    The Mega Millions jackpot reached a record-high $868 million after nobody won Tuesday's drawing.

    The announcement gives hope to lottery players across the country who dream of striking it rich with a few lucky numbers.

    While buying a ticket may seem tempting, the numbers suggest that it almost certainly isn't worth it.

    But even if it does pan out, winning the lottery will not solve all of life's problems.

    In fact, many people's lives became notably worse after they hit the jackpot, as you can see from the following cautionary tales.

    SEE ALSO: Someone in California bought a winning lottery ticket worth more than half a billion dollars — here's exactly what a lottery winner should do, according to a financial adviser

    DON'T MISS: We did the math to see if it's worth it to buy a ticket for the Powerball jackpot

    Lara and Roger Griffiths bought their dream home … and then life fell apart.

    Before they won a $2.76 million lottery jackpot in 2005, Lara and Roger Griffiths, of England, hardly ever argued.

    Then they won and bought a million-dollar barn-converted house and a Porsche, not to mention luxurious trips to Dubai, Monaco, and New York City.

    Their fortune ended in 2010 when a freak fire gutted their house, which was underinsured, forcing them to shell out for repairs and seven months of temporary accommodations.

    Shortly after, Roger drove away in the Porsche after Lara confronted him over emails suggesting that he was interested in another woman. That ended their 14-year marriage.



    Bud Post lost $16.2 million within a nightmarish year — his own brother put out a hit on him.

    William "Bud" Post won $16.2 million in the Pennsylvania lottery in 1988, but he was $1 million in debt within a year.

    "I wish it never happened," Post said. "It was totally a nightmare."

    A former girlfriend successfully sued him for a third of his winnings, and his brother was arrested for hiring a hit man to kill him in the hopes he'd inherit a share of the winnings.

    After sinking money into family businesses, Post sank into debt and spent time in jail for firing a gun over the head of a bill collector.

    "I was much happier when I was broke," he said, according to The Washington Post.

    Bud lived quietly on $450 a month and food stamps until his death in 2006.



    Martyn and Kay Tott won a $5 million jackpot, but lost the ticket.

    Martyn Tott, 33, and his 24-year-old wife, from the UK, missed out on a $5 million lottery fortune after losing their ticket.

    A seven-week investigation by Camelot Group, the company that runs the UK's national lottery, convinced officials their claim to the winning ticket was legitimate. But since there is a 30-day time limit on reporting lost tickets, the company was not required to pay up, and the jackpot became the largest unclaimed amount since the lottery began in 1994.

    "Thinking you're going to have all that money is really liberating. Having it taken away has the opposite effect," Kay Tott told The Daily Mail. "It drains the life from you and puts a terrible strain on your marriage. It was the cruelest torture imaginable."



    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    let it go

    • Breaking up is hard. Breaking up with someone who has abused you is even harder.
    • You will feel confused and traumatised for some time.
    • It's not all terrible though — distance will make you realise you're stronger.
    • Trauma doesn't stay with you forever, and there are actually several positives from what you went through — even if you're still hurting.


    A common misconception about moving on from an abusive relationship is that the trauma stays with you for life. Even if you end up in a great relationship, you may still be lost in your old one, unable to fully let go.

    In reality, this is usually simply a sign you haven't moved on yet. Breaking up with an abusive person is hard, and it can take people months, or even years, to fully recover. But that doesn't mean it's impossible.

    Perpetua Neo, a doctor of psychology and expert who works with women who are healing from damaging, toxic relationships, said if you sort through your pain, work out what demons you have that resulted in you being attracted to a bad person in the first place, then the magic begins.

    "The narcissist didn't want you to gain anything from being with them, but actually you ended up taking everything and becoming stronger," she told Business Insider. "One thing people I've worked with find is that they gain a fuller, more whole version of themselves after leaving the narcissistic ex."

    You will probably be in agony for a while, because your body has essentially been addicted to the intermittent love the abuser gave you. But in time, you will realise that you are so much stronger, resilient, and capable of finding someone who isn't going to discard you for being you.

    Here are seven lessons you can take away from the traumatic experience of loving a toxic person — and the strengths you gain from moving on:

    1. Using empathy as a superpower

    Empathy can be both a gift and your kryptonite. Neo said if you have too much empathy for others, it can mean you start to honour someone else's story over your own. If you do this all the time, it can lead to an "empathy burnout," meaning you give and give, but begin to lose any care for yourself.

    "We forget that we need to nourish ourselves first and foremost before we can nourish somebody else," Neo said. "So in this sense, after the break-up, people start to use empathy as a superpower, and think of empathy as this burden, like: 'Why do I go for people who tell me their sob stories?' Then after that you realise you don't need to take on everybody else's energy."

    2. Boundaries are healthy

    The more time that passes, the more you will realise how troubling the way you were treated was. Becoming very clear about your boundaries means you have a better idea of the kind of person you really are. You also know what you are willing to tolerate, and you will be better at realising who will and won't respect you.

    "Boundaries are the 'hell nos' in our life, and sometimes we don't feel like we have permission to say 'hell no,'" Neo said. "Once we are really clear about what our boundaries are, and we stop seeing them as bad things, we actually get very clear about what is unacceptable. From then I can trust myself to have as much fun as possible, because I've communicated my line already."

    3. Gain a new perspective

    In life, we are all subjected to ideas of how we are supposed to act. Some people will be more influenced by them than others. For example, films often clearly convey some of the power dynamics we are exposed to.

    In "The Little Mermaid," Ariel falls in love with a prince and, in order to be with him, she grows legs and gives up her voice. In "Star Wars," Han Solo grabs Princess Leia inappropriately. In James Bond films, notorious for their misogyny, Bond forces himself on female characters such as Pussy Galore.

    "What does that say to girls watching films like that?" Neo said. "When we keep watching this stuff about inappropriate behaviour, we stop understanding what acceptable behaviour is."

    Coming out of an abusive relationship can give you a new perspective about what you might have looked over in the past while you thought you'd met the love of your life. If you run into a person in the future who you think might hurt you, or acts in a way that makes you uncomfortable, you'll find you're more able to take a stand, Neo said.

    4. Dealing with difficult people gets easier

    Realising your own boundaries in romantic relationships helps you out in other walks of life too. You'll be able to say "here's my line, do not cross it" to people in your family, friendship group, and even at work.

    "Our voice is our sense of autonomy — if you can't express what you want more of and what you want less of, or nothing of, then you're not going to build a sense of solidity," Neo said.

    "Maybe your boss isn't a narcissist, but they're a bit selfish and caught up with their own world. And then if you're an over-giver, you're going to give more than your colleagues — so you'll get burned out and exhausted by it.

    "So once you are very clear about all this and you practise your boundaries, you will find you have a lot more energy."

    5. You become more resilient

    Being with a toxic, abusive person can make you feel like you are being mentally broken over and over again, Neo said, because they always move the goal posts and demand more and more from you. She said living that sort of life will show you just how resilient you really are, and bring forward the strengths you never knew you had.

    "You know he tried to break you once and you're not going to break again," Neo said. "It's this ability to bounce back from adversity or difficult events. When it comes to trauma sometimes people believe that it's going to stay in your for the rest of your life, and nothing is going to shift. But you bounce back and recover and become a stronger version of yourself."

    A traumatic experience like an abusive relationship will change you, Neo said, and you will feel totally broken for quite a while. But once the fog starts to lift, and you see it for what it really was, you fix yourself so you're indestructible.

    6. The urge to help others increases

    Neo said once your energy stops being completely focused on your pain, you'll begin to realise that you are not alone. You're not the first person to be taken advantage of, and you won't be the last, as these sorts of people seek out new victims time and time again.

    When you understand this, you won't be able to let it go. Neo said many of her clients have gone on to help at women's shelters and written about their experiences on blogs.

    Instead of being insular and sad, you will get a new lease of life, Neo said, and want to spread your message. You'll realise just how important your story is to people who might be going through the same thing. You might even be able to prevent it from happening to someone else.

    It's incredibly difficult to notice the signs of a narcissist, or an abuser. This is because they are highly skilled masters of smoke and mirrors. Only when you have hindsight will you be able to see through the mask.

    By having the gift of hindsight you can help others you think might be in trouble, even if that is just by being someone they can talk to.

    7. You can identify the red flags

    There are a number of red flags that someone isn't a good person to be around. It may be something obvious, such as rude behaviour, but a lot of the time the signs are pretty subtle.

    Looking back and gaining perspective on a damaging relationship helps you identify the traits that drew you towards that person in the first place. Perhaps they were mysterious and captivating, and they ended up being a narcissist. Meeting someone else who makes you feel the same way your abuser did at the beginning is a code red.

    "That's your body's way of telling you someone is bad for you," Neo said. "As you become stronger and much wiser you become discerning, and that's not a negative. Then you can own the fact you are discerning, that makes you pretty damn formidable."

    SEE ALSO: People often stay in abusive relationships because of something called 'trauma bonding' — here are the signs it's happening to you

    Join the conversation about this story »

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    92MUIBLA

    Established online mattress retailer Brentwood Home introduces the Crystal Cove mattress, a uniquely dual-sided mattress specifically designed to promote therapeutic recovery and deep, restorative sleep.

    The 100% vegan, non-toxic mattress balances the latest in sleep technology — activated charcoal-infused memory foam and precision-tuned coils — with essential natural elements, such as 100% natural Dunlop latex. As part of the Crystal Cove collection, it features a signature luxe stitched gray cover and perfectly complements their best-selling yoga and meditation pillows. Its customizable design is carefully-crafted for the consumer living an active lifestyle with a desire for a high-quality, non-toxic sleep solution.

    Active recovery or gentle support — you choose.

    The Crystal Cove’s dual-sided design provides a customizable sleeping experience, simply by flipping the mattress.

    The luxury plush side is designed for active recovery and features their signature activated charcoal-infused memory foam. As one of the most effective cooling and purifying minerals, activated charcoal helps trap toxins and chemicals in the body, allowing them to be flushed out and preventing reabsorption. The foam is designed to energize in response to body heat, which is the key to providing highly adaptive comfort and pressure relief.

    The gentle firm side provides responsive support and features 100% natural Dunlop latex, which is breathable, durable, naturally responsive, non-toxic, antimicrobial, and eco-INSTITUT® certified. This sustainably-farmed latex enables zoned pressure-point relief where you need it most.

    Certified non-toxic and planet-friendly.

    The Crystal Cove mattress is completely GREENGUARD Gold Certified by UL Environment. This means it has been scientifically tested in environmental chambers to meet some of the world’s most rigorous, third-party emissions standards for prolonged chemical exposure and pollutants, such as volatile organic compounds (VOCs), formaldehyde, and phthalates.

    In addition, for each mattress sold three trees are planted through the National Forest Foundation. It’s part of an ambitious effort to help stem the impact of climate change and help replant America’s forests.

    Handcrafted in Southern California.

    All Brentwood Home mattresses are handcrafted in their own Los Angeles factory, feature a one-year risk-free trial with free shipping and returns, plus a 25-year warranty.

     

    This post is sponsored by Brentwood Home.

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    credit cards

    • Your credit score may slowly be getting worse over time without you realizing it.
    • Maxing out your credit cards can hurt your credit score, even if you pay your bills on time each month.
    • Things beyond your control, such as a change in loan servicing, can also hurt your credit score.
    • Here are five ways to know if you have a bad credit score, even if you think you have good credit.

     

    In the US, credit is scored through a point system based on your payment history, outstanding balances, length of credit history, and types of credit accounts.

    Credit scores range from 300 to 850, with a good credit score falling anywhere above 670, according to credit bureau Experian. A low credit score could impact your ability to get a mortgage or rent an apartment and could mean you have to pay a higher interest rate if you take out a loan.

    There are some simple ways to build credit and gain a good score, like making consistent, on-time credit card payments. But there are certain things beyond your control that could also be hurting your score — and you may not even know it.

    According to Matthew Cooper, co-founder and CEO of the payment app Earnup, the way credit scores are calculated in the US is "incredibly unfair to your average consumer," not only because the formula for calculating credit scores is complicated, but it also keeps changing.

    Here, Cooper highlighted a few ways you might have hurt your credit without realizing it, so you can take steps to improve your score.

    SEE ALSO: How to figure out the best time to buy a home, according to a mortgage analyst

    1. You've made late payments

    "Paying bills after the due date is the number one reason people have bad credit scores," Cooper told Business Insider. If you pay your bill more than 30 days late, you are likely to be reported to the credit bureaus, according to Cooper.

    However, there may be a way for you to delay or skip a payment without damaging your credit. "Contact your biller if you're going to pay late and see what your options are," Cooper said. "There is very often a solution, especially in personal lending and student loans," he said.

    You could also call a credit counseling service for advice on how to handle your situation



    2. You make minimum payments on credit cards

    "Even if you pay on time, if you run high balances and only make minimum payments you can lower your credit score," Cooper said.

    If you're charging up your credit cards but not paying down the balance, you might have exceeded the optimal debt-to-available-credit ratio without knowing it. Your credit score can suffer if you have used more than 30% of your available credit. The ratio is calculated on your total credit and debt, not on each card.

    To keep your credit score within a good range, keep an eye on this ratio and calibrate your monthly payments to keep your balances low. If that's not possible, you could open another credit card to extend the amount of credit available to you, thus reducing your ratio.



    3. Your loan has been sold, and you don't know it

    "One of the reasons that people have bad credit and don't know it is because their loan was sold or transferred to a different financial institution," Cooper said. This is a particular issue for mortgages, because your mortgage may be sold several times during the life of the loan, according to Findlaw.

    If your mortgage servicer, which is the bank or processor to whom you send your mortgage payments, changes (which often happens when a loan is sold), it can cause problems.

    You may think you're making your mortgage payments on time, but if your payment is going to a different place, you could end up falling behind.  Cooper noted that this is a particular problem for people who set up automatic payments, because they might not open pro forma mailings from their servicers.

    Mortgage servicers are required to notify you of any changes. To avoid this credit score pitfall, make sure your mortgage servicer has your current address, email, and phone number. And open everything you get from your servicer, even if it looks like junk mail.



    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    ztylus case

    • The Ztylus Revolver M Series case for the iPhone X features a revolving wheel on the back containing six built in-lenses.
    • You can rotate the wheel to select the lens you want, then place it right in front of the phone's camera lens. 
    • The case comes with macro/super macro, fisheye/telephoto, and wide/telephoto lens pairs. 
    • It costs $34.95, and is available on Amazon. 

    Sometimes your phone's camera lens isn't enough for the type of pictures you want to snap — whether it's wide-angle fisheye shots or bigger zooms than what the phone is capable of. 

    There are plenty of external lenses available for mobile photography, but they can easily get expensive, and they usually require the user to carry around different lenses that need to be swapped out. The Ztylus Revolver M Series case for the iPhone X offers an all-in-one package of six lenses, at $35. 

    The case has a revolving wheel on the back, which contains 3 pairs of lenses: macro/super macro, fisheye/telephoto, and wide/telephoto. Instead of removing a lens and replacing it with another, you can simply rotate the wheel and extend the external lens to the phone's existing lens. 

    The rotating wheel is magnetic and removable, so you don't need to have unnecessary extra bulk if you won't be using the lenses.  Because the lenses are stored inside the wheel, you also won't need lens caps to protect the glass. However, as mobile phones weren't necessarily intended to be used with external lenses, some image distortion can be expected. 

    The M Series case comes in 16 color options, and is available on Amazon

    SEE ALSO: Google's amazing Pixel 3 and the sleek Samsung Galaxy S9 are 2 of the best Android smartphones on the market — here's which one you should buy

    Join the conversation about this story »

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    Paul Manafort

    • Prosecutors on Wednesday charged a senior Treasury Department employee with leaking suspicious financial activity reports to the news media.
    • Natalie Mayflower Sours Edwards, 40, was arrested Tuesday and will appear in court later on Wednesday.
    • The alleged leaked reports related to President Donald Trump's former campaign advisers, Paul Manafort and Rick Gates, as well as the Russian embassy.

    A senior adviser for the Treasury Department's Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) was charged Wednesday with leaking suspicious financial activity reports related to President Donald Trump's former campaign advisers, Paul Manafort and Rick Gates, as well as the Russian embassy.

    Natalie Mayflower Sours Edwards, 40, was arrested Tuesday and is set to appear in the US District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia on Wednesday, CNBC reported.

    Prosecutors alleged in a criminal complaint that Edwards leaked the suspicious activity reports — known as SARs — or described their contents to a reporter "on various occasions" between October 2017 and October 2018.

    They also said they found a flash drive in her possession on which she allegedly saved SARs, and a cellphone through which she had communicated with a reporter through an encrypted app.

    Prosecutors also alleged Edwards lied about her contact with the reporter and denied speaking with media.

    Geoffrey Berman, the US Attorney for the Southern District of New York, which is prosecuting Edwards' case, said in a statement on Wednesday that Edwards "betrayed her position of trust" by leaking the reporters.

    "SARs, which are filed confidentially by banks and other financial institutions to alert law enforcement to potentially illegal transactions, are not public documents, and it is an independent federal crime to disclose them outside of one's official duties," Berman said. "We hope today's charges remind those in positions of trust within government agencies that the unlawful sharing of sensitive documents will not be tolerated and will be met with swift justice by this Office."

    The Trump administration has sought for months to crack down on leakers within the government, dramatically ramping up the amount of Justice Department investigations into leaks.

    SEE ALSO: US moves to take control of Paul Manafort's condo at Trump Tower

    Join the conversation about this story »

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