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    Boise Idaho

    • Believe it or not, Idaho's population grew faster than any other state in the country last year.
    • Here, author Benjamin Rippey details why he and his wife decided to move from an apartment in Hoboken, New Jersey, to a home in Boise, Idaho.
    • Boise is cheaper, cleaner, and less crowded than New York City. And gun culture is prevalent.

    Boise, Idaho. I could scarcely have placed it on a map a year ago. Now I live here.

    I'm a lifelong East Coaster. Having spent much of that in Northern Jersey, I speak quickly and in short sentences. I am mostly always in a hurry. I'm cranky and jaded and unimpressed.  

    How then, as a mid-career, family-planning 30-something did I find myself in Idaho?

    I'm still processing that myself.

    For my wife and I, living just outside of Manhattan suited us for a long time. Indeed, I can't say I ever seriously considered anything else. Life was good. We ate well, enjoyed ourselves, made friends and contacts, developed personally and professionally. We had dinner parties and went to shows — comedy, Broadway, et al. We traveled a lot — the kind of travel that puts your life and your own place in the world into perspective.

    But years of city life were taking their toll, leaving us tired and frustrated. We began staying home more often, sequestering ourselves from crowds and incidental expenses. Every thought of leaving the house caused agitation. What fresh nightmares will the traffic gods unleash? A $12 beer? Wait, did we park in a Monday spot?  

    In short, too many people, with no respite in sight. Amazon's HQ2 is coming to NYC, with all the familiar side effects — more people, more traffic, higher cost of living.

    Cost of living was already a major consideration when we bought our two-bedroom Hoboken apartment in 2012. Overnight, it seemed, we couldn't afford our own town anymore. When we committed to sell the same apartment seven years later, the new owners paid just under a million. A million dollars for 1,000 square feet and street parking.

    After several years looking for affordability within a familiar tri-state top ten list (Westchester, Maplewood, Red Bank, Stamford) and other locales (Maine; Rhode Island; Catskill, NY), nothing left us confident or inspired.

    My wife travels for business, with her largest client in Boise, Idaho. After two years of Boise comings and goings, she finally said over dinner, "I love it there. I want you to see it."

    Boise, for all I knew, might have been a waffle house adjacent to a potato farm. I could not have been more wrong.

    The traffic is nonexistent, the air is clean, and the city is uncrowded

    It's been less than a year since that dinner, and we've been in Boise for a few months. My first impressions? The people are nice. Fall weather is glorious. What passes for "traffic" in Idaho is ... adorable. The air is clean. The streets are clean. The city is uncrowded, but active.

    Outside of the city, the only real noise is the sound of construction — growing pains from a housing market booming with buyers like us: tired of the expense, the pretense, and the headaches of big city life. Bloomberg recently reported that 29% of those perusing Boise real-estate listings on are Californians, where homes cost five times more than those in Idaho's capital.

    Read more:Forget Portland and Seattle — people priced out of expensive California cities are buying homes in Idaho for 'Monopoly money'

    They call it the Treasure Valley, and it's easy to see why. Boise is green — one of its many contradictions. A desert full of trees, supported by the wide and slow-moving Boise River. The river is enveloped by Greenbelt park, the pulse of the city's activity. And Boise is very active — from skiing to jogging to biking to kayaking, there's a sport for all seasons.

    Boise is a shockingly satisfying place for foodies: farmers' markets on Saturdays, olive hummus, elk steak, Idaho red wine, specialty coffee, and surprisingly great restaurants.

    The business community is also surprisingly (to me, at least) robust. Boise is open for business, with a buzz of free enterprise and opportunity: new shops, new restaurants, lots of new-ness. Big tech has a presence here — Micron and HP among others — supported by a prominent startup ecosystem. With faster population growth than other any state in the country in 2017, according to the US Census Bureau, there's an optimism here that Idaho's ascendance is just beginning.

    But I still experience culture shock every day  

    One thing I was unprepared for? Guns. Literally the first piece of mail that came to our new address was a gun advertisement. They are everywhere. You can bring a loaded pistol into Walmart, and no one bats an eye — that is, no one expect one frightened East Coast couple.

    And then there's the politics. "Aren't you in Trump country?" friends inquire. The answer is yes and no. Like most cities, Boise is solidly blue: eco-friendly, progressive, understanding of people's differences. But I'd be lying to say that there isn't a bit of culture shock every day — some small reminder that we live in a deeply red state.

    Our four-bedroom home in the foothills sits on a small plot of land on a tree-lined street and doesn't require two six-figure salaries to support it. All in, it cost us a little over half of what we sold our apartment for, and barely one-tenth of what we might have paid for anything remotely comparable in Hoboken.

    Boise is a proper city, with everything city people are accustomed to — just a bit less of it. A place largely free of suburban sprawl, surrounded by protected wilderness. A city, unlike most others, where 12 miles north you're in the middle of nowhere.

    I find myself speaking a little slower these days and being a little less cranky. Boise is still unfamiliar to me. I don't know the street names. I don't know our neighbors. But what is familiar is a feeling I had growing up in a small New England town: Work doesn't consume you, commutes don't kill you, and status doesn't define you.

    SEE ALSO: 7 reasons why traveling by train is better than flying

    Join the conversation about this story »

    NOW WATCH: 4 lottery winners who lost it all

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    iPhone XS Max photo

    Last weekend, I spent a pretty magical day in Central Park.

    The weather was beautiful — sunny and crisp — and the leaves had almost fully turned, making it one of the best times to experience Central Park's foliage. I had no plan for the day, other than wandering around the park and getting some fresh air. (Oh, and catching a glimpse of the park's famed Mandarin duck.)

    It seemed like the perfect excuse to test the camera on the smartphone I'm using right now: Apple's new iPhone XS Max. Apple touted the camera's new features during its big September event, and it's expected to be excellent.

    I didn't put the phone through its paces or do a scientific camera test. But what I found still surprised me. I expected it to be a great camera, but I was also expecting to be unimpressed by portrait mode, which has never quite been perfect, and by the colors, which sometimes look too warm for my taste.

    But it turns out that the camera really is that good. Take a look.

    (It's worth noting that photos may appear slightly compressed because of a bug with Business Insider's website — we're working on it!)

    SEE ALSO: The 6 biggest differences you need to know about when switching from an older iPhone to the iPhone XS Max

    Here's the lake at Central Park. The phone captured the fall colors well, and overall, it's pretty sharp — check out those people in a rowboat on the left.

    I was impressed by how the phone performed in the shade.

    It was a nice sunny day when I captured this photo, but we were walking underneath a canopy of trees, and it wasn't particularly bright on this path. Still, I was impressed by how the XS Max performed.

    I love the colors in this photo — bright, inviting, and warm. And though I tend to find iPhone photos too sepia-tinged on the past few phones, I felt that the colors here looked very true to life.

    Time for a little portrait mode. In the past, I haven't been wildly impressed by the iPhone's portrait mode. But here, it blew me away.

    I've always been a little underwhelmed by portrait mode on the iPhone. It often has strange quirks and flaws, like cutting off someone's hair or blurring a finger or two.

    But with the iPhone XS Max, Apple's improvements made the feature very impressive.

    Not only are the colors beautiful, but the background blur looks amazing. The camera only really struggled when it came to his glasses, but figuring out how to handle a pair of clear lenses is, understandably, difficult.

    Usually, hair is a little tricky for the phone's technology to cut around, but in this case, it's nearly flawless.

    I can't imagine that portrait mode will ever be in the same league as a real camera, and I generally prefer portrait mode on Google's Pixel phones. But if this photo is any indication, the iPhone's portrait-mode feature has come a long way.

    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    best pliers

    • Pliers are an essential part of your home toolkit, so we've rounded up the best ones you can buy whether you want long-nose, vise-grip, or linesman's pliers.

    • Japanese engineering, robust steel construction, a comfortable grip, and the best jaw profile we've seen culminate in the Vampliers Pro. These are the last pair of linesman's pliers you'll ever need to buy.

    Like a hammer, screwdriver, and roll of duct tape, a good pair of pliers is one of those tools that everybody — handyman or not — should have in the home. In fact, pliers are considerably more versatile than the aforementioned tools, with a wide variety of uses both in the home and in the workplace.

    There are also more varieties of pliers than there are of hammers and screwdrivers, though, and shopping around for a good pair or set of pliers can get confusing quickly. But despite the different types of pliers and jaw shapes, these tools basically all fall into three categories: non-adjustable, adjustable, and locking.

    Non-adjustable pliers are probably what you think of when you think of "pliers" — a simple set of pincers with grips. Some may also feature a small sliding joint that lets you widen the jaws a bit.

    Adjustable pliers, also called groove- or channel-lock pliers, allow you to greatly widen the distance between the nose heads to suit the object you're working on. Locking pliers, colloquially referred to as "vise grips," are also adjustable to a degree but feature the additional ability to lock into place so you can attach them to something and then let them go without the pliers falling off.

    There are further sub-types within these categories that feature different nose and grip designs, but once you've got a basic idea of what you need, narrowing down the right pliers for you isn't so hard. To help you save some time, we've sorted out the five best pliers you can buy, with our picks covering most needs, use cases, and budgets.

    Here are the best pliers you can buy:

    Read on in the slides below to check out our top picks.

    The best pliers overall

    Why you'll love them: Great build quality and a unique jaw design make the Japanese-made Vampliers Pro the best and the most versatile linesman's pliers that you can buy.

    There are many styles of pliers out there, and home handymen and professionals alike will probably end up with multiple pairs suited for different tasks. For your go-to pliers, though, a solid pair of "linesman pliers" will tackle most jobs you're likely to face, and the Japanese-made Vampliers are easily the best ones you'll ever use.

    The "Pro" model is the larger pair of Vampliers which Vampire calls "screw extraction pliers" owing to their unique jaw design. We found the standard 6.25-inch Vampliers to be a little bit small for some tasks, and so the 8-inch "Pro" is our top pick. The Pro's jaws are beefier, but these Vampliers aren't too big or unwieldy by any means thanks to the comfortable contoured grips.

    The versatility of the Vampliers is evident in the design of its jaws. Whereas most plier jaws have a single set of horizontal grooves that allow the teeth to grip the work piece, the Vampliers have both horizontal and vertical teeth. This more complex jaw profile lets the user gain purchase on an object from two different directions and is what makes the Vampire pliers particularly good at extracting stubborn screws, nuts, and bolts.

    Of course, as a meaty pair of linesman's pliers, the Vampliers Pro will also tackle pretty much anything else you need standard pliers for, including crimping and trimming wires with the built-in wire cutter.

    They're fairly expensive at $45, but the Japanese-made quality, fantastic design, and versatility of the Vampliers make them worth every penny in our opinion. For a sturdy pair of jack-of-all-trades pliers that will last a lifetime, the Vampliers Pro are the gold standard.

    Pros: Made in Japan, excellent steel construction, ergonomically contoured grips, unique jaw design that's extremely versatile (and great for difficult tasks like screw extraction), and built-in wire cutters

    Cons: They're relatively expensive

    Buy the Vampire Pro pliers on Amazon for $45

    The best long-nose pliers

    Why you'll love them: For more delicate tasks like electrical work, the Klein all-purpose pliers are the perfect tool, thanks to their comfortable spring-loaded grip, well-designed long-nose jaws, and built-in wire cutters and strippers.

    Linesman's pliers like the Vampliers are highly versatile tools that are great for many jobs, but certain tasks that involve smaller work pieces — like electrical wires — require a more delicate touch. Long-nose pliers, which feature narrower jaws with a smaller surface gripping area, make it much easier to maneuver in tight areas and gain purchase on small or hard-to-reach objects.

    These long-nose pliers from Klein are perfect for such jobs. The jaws are long without being "needle-nose" thin, allowing you to grip smaller objects and make loops with wiring while still offering enough size and strength for other everyday jobs you'd need pliers for. The head also features a hardened wire cutter and five holes for stripping 8-16 gauge solid and 10-18 gauge stranded wiring.

    Made in America, the Klein pliers feel tight and solid as soon as you pick them up, and this built-to-last quality is evident right down to the hot-riveted joint, which exhibits no annoying slop or play. The Klein pliers also have a very comfortable rubberized and contoured grip with a spring-assisted opening, which requires a short break-in period but is ultimately easier to operate for extended periods.

    The long but sturdy jaws and suite of wire-working features make the accurately-named Klein all-purpose pliers extremely versatile, and given this wide range of use, these were competing with the Vampliers for our top pick. But as adaptable as they are, the Klein pliers' jaws are not quite beefy enough for gripping larger workpieces.

    This isn't a drawback, necessarily — this is just the nature of long-nosed pliers designed for more delicate work — but it's something to be mindful of if you're looking for a single "go-to" pair of around-the-house pliers. Nonetheless, these are an excellent choice for electricians, HVAC technicians, and general users looking for a solid set of pliers that pack a lot of functionality into one handy tool.

    Pros: Made in the US, a versatile long-nosed jaw design, built-in wire cutters and strippers, comfortable spring-loaded grips, and a tight joint that doesn't wobble

    Cons: Fairly expensive, and the tight rivet requires a short "break-in" period

    Buy the Klein all-purpose long-nose pliers on Amazon for $38

    The best locking pliers

    Why you'll love them: If you're tired of busted knuckles from your pliers slipping off the work piece, then locking "Vise-Grip" pliers are what you need, and Irwin still makes the best ones for less than $20.

    If you're at all familiar with basic tools, then you've almost certainly heard of locking pliers referred to as "vise grips." Like Kleenex and Q-Tips, however, "Vise-Grip" is actually a patented name that has become a catch-all term for all pliers of this style, which was originally created by the Irwin tool company.

    One persistent frustration with pliers is that they generally require you to keep hold of the tool while it's on the work piece, and those without locking mechanisms can lose purchase and slip off the piece altogether, resulting in annoyance at the least and skinned knuckles at worst. Groove lock designs like the Knipex Cobra and Channellock mitigate this to some degree, but no pliers keep hold of objects better than Irwin-designed Vise-Grips.

    Vise-Grips work by adjusting to the size of the work piece and then locking in place when gripped onto the target object, thus keeping the jaws securely clamped regardless of the handle's orientation. This allows you to release your grip without the pliers losing theirs and is particularly useful when you need to turn the pliers around an object, such as when tightening or loosening a section of pipe. A simple release lever at the base of the handle allows you to unlock the jaws when you need to remove them.

    It's an intuitive and effective design that hasn't changed much over the decades, and the Irwin Vise-Grips remain the standard for this style of pliers.

    Unfortunately, though, the Vise-Grips are no longer manufactured in the US and are now fabricated in China. This may not be a drawback for you depending on whether or not you care about this sort of thing, especially considering the price and that the Vise-Grips are still very well-made and built to get the job done.

    Pros: Solid construction, highly affordable, and the locking mechanism effectively secures the jaws tightly to the work piece with little to no risk of the pliers falling off

    Cons: No longer made in the US

    Buy the Irwin Vise-Grip locking pliers (10-inch) on Amazon for $16.63

    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    United Airlines

    • For a limited time, United Airlines and Chase are offering the highest-ever public sign-up bonus on their co-branded credit card. 
    • The United Explorer Card offers up to 65,000 miles for new applicants: 40,000 United miles after spending $2,000 in the first three months, and another 25,000 miles after spending a total of $10,000 in the first six months. 
    • Usually, the card only offers 40,000 miles unless you're specially targeted for something higher.
    • The bonus is enough for a round-trip flight to Europe, or even a ticket in United's new Polaris business class.
    • This offer is only available until January 8, 2019, so don't wait.

    The best way to get a ton of frequent flyer miles quickly — aside from booking an incredibly expensive and long flight — is signing up for a new credit card and earning its sign-up bonus. This style of "travel hacking" is basically a way get flights or hotel fees for free — you can get a massive haul of points just for opening a new card and spending money that you were going to spend anyway.

    The key is to make sure that when you open a card, you're getting the best offer that you can get. Some cards offer higher bonuses seasonally or during promotions, some products have higher bonuses when they launch, and some offer special bonuses for individually targeted customers.

    If you tend to fly United Airlines and you don't have the United Explorer credit card, now is an excellent time to apply for it.

    For a limited time, United and Chase, which issues the card, are offering the highest-ever public offer on their co-branded credit card.

    When you open a new card, you can earn up to 65,000 miles when you open a new card. The offer is broken into two chunks — you'll earn 40,000 United miles after spending $2,000 in the first three months, and another 25,000 miles after spending a total of $10,000 in the first six months. 

    This offer is only available until January 8, 2019, so don't wait.

    While that spending requirement is higher than many cards, earning the full bonus would require an average of $1,670 per month for the first six months. Between the holiday season and other ways to meet a spending bonus without spending more than you would otherwise, it's certainly doable for a lot of people.

    The United Explorer card was revamped this spring, and comes with some useful perks and benefits. 

    One highlight that sets it apart from the other airlines' mainstream cards — you'll get two United Club passes per year. These passes get you entry to United Club lounges, where you can enjoy comfortable seating, Wi-Fi, free food and drinks, and more before your flight. Normally, one-time entry to a United Club would cost $59 if you didn't have a membership. 

    The United Explorer card offers a free checked bag for you and a travel companion when you use the card to pay for your tickets. A checked bag costs $30 each way, so if you and another person on your reservation both take advantage of the free benefit, you'll save $120 on a round-trip.

    Additionally, the card offers an application fee credit of up to $100 for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck — a solid value if you don't already have one or both of the services. While it's not a published benefit, United cardholders also get access to more saver award space than other United members — that makes it easier to find good flights when it's time to use your miles.

    The United Explorer earns 2x miles per dollar spent at restaurants, hotels, and on all United purchase, as well as 1x mile on everything else. It has a $95 annual fee, which is waived the first year.

    Should I apply?

    This is the best public sign-up bonus we've seen on this card, so if you're eligible to earn it, now is the time to apply.

    Keep in mind that you won't be able ot earn the bonus if you currently have the United Explorer card, or if you've earned a sign-up bonus for this card within the past 24 months. You also may not be able to get approved if you've opened five or more personal credit cards in the past 24 months.

    Aside from that, if you tend to fly United, the Explorer card offers a solid value, and waives its annual fee for the first year, making the bonus purely profit.

    Just keep in mind that we're focusing on the rewards and perks that makes this card a great option, not things like interest rates and late fees, which can far outweigh the value of any rewards.

    When you're working to earn credit card rewards, it's important to practice financial discipline, like paying your balances off in full each month, making payments on time, and not spending more than you can afford to pay back. Basically, treat your credit card like a debit card.

    Click here to learn more about the United Explorer Card from Insider Picks' partner: The Points Guy.

    SEE ALSO: The best credit card rewards, bonuses, and perks in 2018

    DON'T MISS: 12 lucrative credit card deals you can get when opening a new card in November — including a 200,000-point bonus

    READ MORE: Capital One announces huge improvement to the popular Venture card — including 12 new airline transfer partners and a heftier sign-up bonus

    Join the conversation about this story »

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    princess tiana 2 disney

    • "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. 


    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. 

    ralph breaks the internet disneyMany 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 last month while they were attending 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.

    the princess and the frog disney final"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's 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.


    SEE ALSO: "Venom" is a darkly comedic Marvel movie you will either love or hate

    Join the conversation about this story »

    NOW WATCH: The inside story behind the Marvel movie you were never supposed to see

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    Screen Shot 2018 11 16 at 10.53.21 AM

    Black Friday and Cyber Monday offer great deals on tech as well as home — two expenses it can be hard to commit to without steep discounts, despite how much you might need them.

    Wayfair always has great deals, but some of its steepest discounts come on Black Friday and Cyber Monday. You can save up to 80% on home goods as well as the following deals:

    If you need to refresh your any room of the house with new furniture, linens, or decor,  this is likely the best time of the year to do so — you could save thousands by doing your home goods shopping today rather than later in the month.

    While you're at it, you might also want to check out some of the other deals we've scoped out — like the best deals for your kitchen, and the best home appliance and mattress sales.

    You can shop the full Wayfair Black Friday sale selection here, and below are some of the most noteworthy deals you might want to check out:

    Looking for more deals? We've rounded up the best Black Friday and Cyber Monday deals on the internet.

    Join the conversation about this story »

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    michael avenatti Stormy Daniels Lawyer

    • Michael Avenatti is an attorney whose most famous client is Stormy Daniels.
    • He has inserted himself into the national conversation this year, often making claims about high-profile people, including President Donald Trump and Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh.
    • Avenatti is also considering a 2020 presidential bid, but has suffered numerous legal and professional setbacks in recent weeks. 
    • A federal judge ruled against him in Daniels' defamation suit against Trump, was referred to the FBI on accusations of lying to Congress, and was arrested on suspicion of domestic violence. 
    • Here's a look at his career, and claims he's made over the last several months.

    At the moment, Michael Avenatti may be the most high-profile lawyer in America. The 47-year-old seasoned litigator has made headlines in recent months thanks to his famous client, porn star and director Stormy Daniels.

    Just days before the 2016 US election, President Donald Trump's personal lawyer Michael Cohen arranged a $130,000 payment to Daniels to keep her silent about an affair she allegedly had with Trump in 2006.

    Avenatti has since sued the president, on Daniels' behalf, accusing Trump of invalidating a non-disclosure agreement, and of defaming Daniels. Avenatti says the violation allows Daniels to reveal her side of the story to the public, and in March, she started doing just that with a blockbuster "60 Minutes" interview on CBS News.

    Appearing on dozens of cable news shows, tweeting frequently, and often making claims that he has explosive information on people in the news, Avenatti has attempted to make himself a household name — and he's even mulling a 2020 presidential bid.

    But in recent months, Avenatti has suffered a number of legal setbacks between a judge ruling against him and Stormy Daniels' in their defamation lawsuit against Trump, being referred to the FBI on suspicion of submitting false statements to Congress, and being arrested on suspicion of domestic violence, which he denies. 

    Here's what you should know about Michael Avenatti:

    SEE ALSO: Meet 'Stormy Daniels', the porn star Trump's lawyer paid to keep quiet about an alleged sexual affair — who's finally telling her side of the story

    DON'T MISS: Here are all the sexual-misconduct allegations against Brett Kavanaugh

    Avenatti graduated from the University of Pennsylvania in 1996. Three years later, he received his JD degree from George Washington University.

    During college and law school, Avenatti worked for The Research Group, a campaign research firm founded by Rahm Emmanuel, former President Barack Obama's chief of staff and the current Democratic mayor of Chicago.

    Source: Chicago Magazine

    After graduating law school, Avenatti worked at O'Melveny & Myers, a high-powered Los Angeles law firm. Over the course of his legal career, he has contributed to several high-profile cases involving Paris Hilton, Jim Carrey, and members of the rock band The Eagles.

    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    Sen. Cindy Hyde-Smith

    • Sen. Cindy Hyde-Smith, a Republican battling for reelection in Mississippi, is under fire for saying that laws that "make it just a little more difficult" for liberal college students to vote are "a great idea."
    • Hyde-Smith's campaign said the remarks were "obviously" a joke and that a video of her comments was edited to misrepresent her comment. 
    • This comes just days after Hyde-Smith was widely criticized for joking — in a video that went viral — that if she were invited to a public hanging, she'd "be on the front row."

    Sen. Cindy Hyde-Smith, a Republican battling for reelection in Mississippi, is under fire for saying that laws that "make it just a little more difficult" for liberal college students to vote are "a great idea."

    The remarks, which Hyde-Smith's campaign later insisted were made in jest, were caught in a video posted to Twitter. 

    "And then they remind me, that there's a lot of liberal folks in those other schools who that maybe we don't want to vote. Maybe we want to make it just a little more difficult," Hyde-Smith is shown telling a group of supporters outside her campaign bus in a video reportedly taken on Nov. 3. 

    Hyde-Smith's campaign said the remarks were "obviously" a joke and that the video was edited to misrepresent her comment. 

    "Obviously Sen. Hyde-Smith was making a joke and clearly the video was selectively edited," Melissa Scallan, spokeswoman for Hyde-Smith's campaign, told the Washington Post.

    Scallan claimed that Hyde-Smith's comments were in response to a question about whether she would support opening polling places on college campuses and that she said campus polling places were "a great idea," not voter suppression. 

    "The senator absolutely is not a racist and does not support voter suppression," she added.

    Hyde-Smith, who was appointed to replace retiring Sen. Thad Cochran last April, is facing a black Democrat, Mike Espy, who served as agriculture secretary in the Clinton administration, in a Nov. 27 runoff election after both candidates received about 41 percent of the vote in the Nov. 6 race. 

    Espy's campaign responded that voting rights "are not a laughing matter." 

    "Mississippians deserve a senator who represents our best qualities, not a walking stereotype who embarrasses our state," a spokesperson said. 

    Hyde-Smith's comments drew significant criticism from progressives and online commentators, who argued that Mississippi's dark and violent history of disenfranchising black citizens should disqualify any politician from making light of voter suppression. 

    "It's hilarious to joke about voter suppression in a state with a history of African-Americans who wanted to vote facing terror like being fire bombed out of their homes or being mutilated and killed," tweeted Elise Jordan, an anti-Trump conservative political commentator.

    "A Mississippi senator joking about public hangings on the campaign trail and talking approvingly about targeted voter suppression. Huh, that sounds familiar," tweeted Kevin Kruse, a professor of history at Princeton University. 

    This comes just days after Hyde-Smith was widely criticized for joking, in a video that went viral, that if she were invited to a public hanging, she'd "be on the front row." The senator refused to clarify or apologize for the comment. 

    SEE ALSO: Trump and Republicans escalate unsubstantiated voter-fraud conspiracies as recounts move forward in Florida

    Join the conversation about this story »

    NOW WATCH: Lindsey Graham once warned there would be 'holy hell to pay' if Trump fired Jeff Sessions

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    eBay Toytopia

    While tech items like video game consoles and tablets are always safe bets for kids' gifts, there's nothing like unwrapping a new toy during the holiday season.

    The problem with shopping for toys at traditional big-box retailers, whether in-store or online, is that it can be hard to find a good one. Their selections are all pretty much the same, lacking true variety and often selling out before you can get the ones you want. Luckily, eBay, a marketplace for literally anything you can think of, has a wide range of toys for the holidays.

    EBay recently created a new shopping experience called Toytopia. Comprising millions of items, it's filled with everything from the hottest toys on every kid's wish list this season to vintage and collectible toys from decades past.

    Whether you're searching for the newest Hatchimals for young kids or a rare and collectible G.I. Joe action figure or Barbie doll from years ago for someone who may have owned it as a child, you can find it on eBay.

    We rounded up some of the coolest toys to buy, but since the sale is so massive, these product categories can help you find exactly what you need. 

    Shop the eBay Toytopia section now, or keep scrolling for some inspiration.

    Looking for more gift ideas? Check out all of Insider Picks' holiday gift guides for 2018 here.

    Harry Potter Hogwarts Battle — A Cooperative Deck Building Game

    Harry Potter Hogwarts Battle — A Cooperative Deck Building Game, 40.49 (Originally $59.99) [You save $19.50]

    KidKraft Storybook Mansion Dollhouse

    KidKraft Storybook Mansion Dollhouse, $85.99 (Originally $99.99) [You save $14]

    Redcat Racing Everest-10 RC Truck

    Redcat Racing Everest-10 RC Truck, $159.99 (Originally $195.99) [You save $36]

    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    The Insider Picks team writes about stuff we think you'll like. Business Insider has affiliate partnerships, so we get a share of the revenue from your purchase.

    Since you don't have all day to scour the web for noteworthy sales and discounts, we rounded up the best bargains for you to shop in one convenient place.


    1. Save up to 50% on a KitchenAid Stand Mixer at Williams Sonoma

    With Thanksgiving right around the corner, you'll probably be doing some overtime in the kitchen. Whether it's your first time hosting Thanksgiving dinner, or you're well-seasoned holiday host, everyone could use an extra hand in the kitchen. This mixer is all the help you need — it can beat, mix, knead, and more, all with serious speed. With so many capabilities, you'll use this powerful kitchen device all year round. Usually these mixers are very expensive, some ranging as high as $700, but right now you can find them for up to 50% off at Williams Sonoma.

    Buy a KitchenAid Stand Mixer for 50% off at Williams Sonoma.

    Club Monaco

    2. Take an extra 30% off sale items at Club Monaco

    If you're looking to complete your winter wardrobe, or get a gift for that stylish someone in your life, head over to Club Monaco. They have a great selection of stylish pieces for men and women. Plus, now through November 20, you can save an extra 30% off sale items, for a total of up to 60% in savings. They even have a "steals of the season" section, where you can find plenty of great cold-weather picks on sale.

    Shop sale at Club Monaco and take an extra 30% off your purchase.


    3. Save $50 on an Echo Dot and Sengled Smart Lighting Kit at Amazon

    One of the debatably coolest features of Alexa technology is that you can control lights with just your voice. To do this though, you need smart lights. Right now, you can get a set with an Amazon Echo Dot and a two-pack of Sengled smart color light bulbs for just $79.98. It's a great price, and a great way to get into the world of smart home technology.

    Buy an Echo Dot and Sengled Smart Lighting Kit for $79.98 (usually $129.48) [you save $50].

    Cole Haan

    4. Save 30% sitewide at Cole Haan

    If you're looking for a pair of well-made, comfortable shoes, that also look really good, you need to check out Cole Haan. They have great shoe options for men and women that blend superior comfort with style. Yesterday, it kicked off its Grand Giving Event, where the company is offering 30% off sitewide until November 18. We already checked out the sale and found lots of great options, and we think you will, too.

    Shop shoes and more at Cole Haan and save 30% on your purchase.


    5. Save up to 25% on everything at MVMT

    MVMT is one of our team's favorite watch startups for their range of timeless and innovative styles — as well as affordability. If you've been wanting a nice watch or pair of sunglasses, but thought waiting until Black Friday was the right move, lucky for you MVMT is helping you get your shopping done now. Through November 29, everything its site for 25% off. 

    Shop watches and sunglasses at MVMT for 25% off.

    butcherbox thumb 2

    6. Get free bacon for the lifetime of your membership when you sign up for ButcherBox

    ButcherBox is the easy way to get high-quality meats delivered right to your door. The monthly subscription service starts at $129 for a month's supply of cuts curated by ButcherBox's staff. You can also opt to personalize your order by selecting the cuts you'd like on your own. ButcherBox emphasizes quality, and is serious about sourcing the best meats — you'll taste the difference. If you're on the fence, when you sign up for ButcherBox right now you'll get a free pack of bacon in every future ButcherBox you receive. That's a lot of free bacon. 

    Sign up for ButcherBox and get free bacon for as long as you're subscribed.


    7. Take $25 off every $200 spent, plus save 50% on select items at Bloomingdale’s

    With deals rolling out in preparation of Black Friday and Cyber Monday, it's a great time to get your holiday gifting done — and Bloomingdale's is a great place to start. With fashion and accessories for men, women, and kids, as well as beauty and home goods, you can find something for everyone on your list. They also have a great selection of luxury items (think handbags, jewelry, home goods) if you're looking for a really special gift. Now through November 21, you can save big at Bloomingdale's Big Brown Bag sale. You'll get to take off $25 for every $200 spent, as well as save 50% and get free shipping on a selection of items.

    Shop at Bloomingdale's and save more when you spend more.


    8. Save up to $235 on a mattress, plus get a free pillow at Leesa

    You spend almost a third of your life asleep, so when it comes to your mattress you deserve a really good one. Leesa offers two super comfortable mattresses. The Leesa is a classic all-foam mattress that sleeps cool and relieves pressure, while the Sapira is a hybrid of foam and spring that contours to your body as you move throughout the night. Both are great options and right now you can get both on sale, plus get a free cooling pillow when you buy a Leesa mattress. With the code "BUSINESSINSIDER" you can save $160 on a Leesa or $235 on a Sapira mattress, plus get a free pillow (a $75 value.)

    Buy a Leesa Mattress, Queen, for $835 (usually $995) [You save $160] plus get a $75 pillow for free.

    Buy a Sapira Mattress, Queen, for $1,360 (usually $1,595) [You save $235] plus get a $75 pillow for free.

    Join the conversation about this story »

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    Warren Buffet wife Astrid

    • Warren Buffett married Susan Thompson in 1952.
    • She ultimately left Warren to pursue a singing career, but they remained amicably married until her death in 2004.
    • Susan also introduced her husband to Astrid Menks, who became his companion. Buffett and Menks married in 2006.

    Warren Buffett has had a less-than-conventional marriage for much of his life.

    While the investment guru remained married to his first wife, Susan, from 1952 till her death in 2004, he lived with Astrid Menks. Menks and Buffett didn't tie the knot until 2006, two years after Susan died.

    But family members said the unusual arrangement worked for all those involved. According to the Daily Mail, the trio would even send out Christmas cards together — signed Warren, Susan, and Astrid.

    "Unconventional is not a bad thing," Buffett's daughter, Susie Buffett, told The New York Times. "More people should have unconventional marriages."

    Here's a look inside Warren Buffett's married life.

    SEE ALSO: Inside the Trump-endorsed marriage of Mike Pence, who calls his wife 'mother' and refuses to dine with other women

    Buffett's connection to his first wife, Susan, goes back to long before they were even born.

    Source: Business Insider

    Susan's grandfather once ran a campaign for Republican United States Representative Howard Buffett, Warren's grandfather. It apparently didn't go well.

    Source: Business Insider

    Their daughter, Susie Buffett, told Business Insider that it was "the only time my grandpa Buffett lost."

    Source: Business Insider

    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    The Insider Picks team writes about stuff we think you'll like. Business Insider has affiliate partnerships, so we get a share of the revenue from your purchase.

    Brooklinen, $225

    • Brooklinen is having its biggest and only sale of the year right now.
    • From November 23 through November 26, the more you spend, the more you'll save — up to 20% off orders of $450 or more.
    • We ranked Brooklinen as the makers of the best luxury sheets, the best sateen sheets, and the best duvet cover on the internet. Find the startup's seven best-sellers below.
    • To potentially save more on Black Friday and Cyber Monday, you can visit Business Insider Coupons to find up-to-date promo codes for a range of online stores.

    Brooklinen is one of our favorite brands to cover — from its core and luxe bedsheets to its latest Brooklittles line for babies and toddlers. However, it's not known for holding sales. Prices are usually low enough to warrant what is essentially a year-round sale in itself.

    But Black Friday and Cyber Monday are exceptions; Cyber Week is its biggest and only sale of the year.

    This year, the popular startup is offering steep discounts. From November 23 through November 26, you can take advantage of the following deals:

    If you're looking for a new pair of sheets, or you've been waiting for an additional discount as an excuse to try out luxury bedding, this is probably the best time of the year to invest. And in terms of value per dollar, Brooklinen is a particularly great deal.

    They look great, feel even better, and can vastly improve your quality of sleep — which, in turn, improves quite a few other areas of your life. When six hours feels like eight, it's easier to operate in the way that you want in your day-to-day.

    You can check out its full range of options here, but we're fans of the Luxe Hardcore Sheet Bundle for every day (with a duvet cover, a fitted sheet, a flat sheet, and four pillowcases for $228 if you're buying for a queen). Insider Picks editor Ellen Hoffman described them as one of the best purchases she's ever made.

    In our comprehensive Buying Guides, we ranked Brooklinen sheets the #1 best luxurious sheets and the best sateen sheets you can buy. Its Down Comforter (queen, $349) is the best we found from a startup, and its Classic Duvet Cover (queen, $109) is another best-in-its-category on the internet. It also makes great, blanket-sized towels (Bath Sheets, two for $89). 

    If you're looking for something that adds some warmth and softness for the designated "cozy" winter season, I can't recommend the Twill Hardcore Sheet Bundle (queen, $189) enough. It's made to feel like your favorite worn-in flannel, and the twill fabrication allows the yarns to move more freely, creating an overall more forgiving, softer experience. As I've mentioned in my review of them, they'll make you wake up and wish you were working from home every day.

    When it comes to Brooklinen, our experience is that it's pretty difficult to go wrong.

    Take advantage of the Cyber Monday Brooklinen discounts here.

    Looking for more deals? We've rounded up the best Black Friday and Cyber Monday deals on the internet.

    Below are some of Brooklinen's best-sellers:

    Luxe Hardcore Sheet Bundle

    The queen-size Luxe Hardcore Sheet Bundle is $149 before a discount is applied

    Available in 15 colors.

    • Luxe Core Sheet Set (one flat sheet, one fitted sheet, two pillowcases)
    • Luxe Duvet Cover
    • Luxe Pillowcases (an extra pair)

    Classic Hardcore Sheet Bundle

    The queen-size Classic Hardcore Sheet Bundle is $129 before a discount is applied

    Available in 15 colors.

    • Classic Core Sheet Set (one flat sheet, one fitted sheet, two pillowcases)
    • Classic Duvet Cover
    • Classic Pillowcases (an extra pair)

    Super-Plush Complete Towel Set

    The Super-Plush Complete Towel Set is $189 before a discount is applied

    Available in four colors. 

    • Two "Bath Sheets"
    • Two bath towels
    • Two hand towels
    • Two washcloths
    • Bath mat

    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    Los Angeles

    The holidays are around the corner, and that means you're working hard and playing harder.

    Between wrapping up end-of-year projects at work and wrapping gifts at home, it's an incredibly busy time of year.

    But as well as treating your friends and family, it's time to think about treating yourself.

    Business Insider has teamed up with Microsoft Surface to send one lucky winner on the ultimate weekend getaway for two to Los Angeles. Enter our sweepstakes for a chance to win a vacation package* including domestic flights, two nights in a hotel, and spending money to make the most of the time there.

    Tech that powers your travels

    Microsoft Surface Pro 6

    Of course travel offers the chance to get away from it all, but it doesn't mean you have to totally unplug.

    That's why we're also offering the winner a brand-new Microsoft Surface Pro 6 to power their adventures near and far.

    The device is light enough to throw in your bag, with laptop-to-tablet versatility that adapts to your needs. So after a packed day of discovery, you can use it to catch up with friends, check in with work, or unwind with your favorite show.

    Wherever you are, the Microsoft Surface Pro 6 makes it easy to work and play from anywhere. So why not in LA?

    Visit our sweepstakes page to enter to win.

    * Grand Prize includes the following: 1 Microsoft Surface Pro 6 device, $1,500 airline credit, $1,000 hotel credit, $250 rideshare credit, $250 cash gift card. Total approximate retail value of this Grand Prize package is $3,900 USD. Prize is non-transferable, non-refundable, and no substitutions will be allowed. Prize is not redeemable for cash.

    This post is sponsored by Microsoft Surface.

    Join the conversation about this story »

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    WASHINGTON, DC - SEPTEMBER 28: Senate Judiciary Committee member Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) delivers remarks about Supreme Court nominee Judge Brett Kavanaugh during a mark up hearing in the Dirksen Senate Office Building on Capitol Hill September 28, 2018 in Washington, DC. The committee agreed to an additional week of investigation into accusations of sexual assault against Kavanaugh before the full Senate votes on his confirmation. A day earlier the committee heard from Kavanaugh and Christine Blasey Ford, a California professor who who has accused Kavnaugh of sexually assaulting her during a party in 1982 when they were high school students in suburban Maryland. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

    • Iowa Sen. Chuck Grassley announced he would leave his post as chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee at the end of the year to take the top spot on the Senate Finance Committee.
    • Grassley's departure from the Judiciary Committee allows the next most senior Republican to take the gavel, which in this case is South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham.

    WASHINGTON — Sen. Chuck Grassley announced on Friday his intent to leave his post as the top Republican on the Senate Judiciary Committee at the end of the year to chair the Committee on Finance.

    Grassley's decision opens up the opportunity for South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham, the next most senior Republican on the Judiciary Committee, to take the gavel at a time when judicial nominations are a central focus on the Trump administration.

    "The economy is better than it’s been in years and there’s a sense of optimism about the future of our country that people haven’t felt in a long time thanks to the pro-growth policies of a Republican President and a Republican majority in Congress," Grassley said in a statement. "Looking ahead, at the Finance Committee, I want to continue to work to make sure that as many Americans as possible get to experience this good economy for themselves."

    Read more: Lindsey Graham has transformed from a 'RINO' to an icon of the right

    The top spot on the Finance Committee is being vacated by retiring Sen. Orrin Hatch of Utah. 

    "The Finance Committee will be in good hands with Senator Grassley at the helm," Hatch said in a statement. "Chuck has a proven history of leadership at the committee and knows the ins and outs of its sprawling jurisdiction. I am confident Chairman Grassley will carry out a robust agenda that will build on tax reform’s recent success and continue to make progress in the health care, trade and oversight spaces."

    Grassley, who will also be replacing Hatch as the President Pro Tempore of the Senate, has now left an opening on the Judiciary Committee for Graham to fill.

    Graham made a name for himself as the impeachment manager during the Bill Clinton administration, but in recent months has skyrocketed in popularity with Republicans and developed a close personal bond with President Donald Trump.

    Graham taking over the Judiciary gavel is notable because of how he conducted himself during the confirmation hearings for Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh. An outside counsel had been hired to probe then-nominee Kavanaugh on behalf of Republicans, until Graham took over during his turn for questioning to excoriate Democrats on the committee.

    Graham vowed revenge on Democrats he says treated Kavanaugh unfairly, and broke a long personal policy of his to not campaign against his colleagues.

    After the election, Graham called the Republican Senate gains "Kavanaugh's Revenge" and credited Republican voters who were outraged with the process.

    "Virtually all Senate Democrats running in Trump states who voted against Brett Kavanaugh were defeated," he said in the statement after Election Day. "Their constituents held them responsible for being part of a despicable smear campaign orchestrated by the left. These Democrats showed more allegiance to the left than to their constituents who support qualified, conservative judges like Brett Kavanaugh."

    Becoming Judiciary Committee chairman could bring Graham even further into the spotlight as he shepherds through Trump's judicial nominees.

    SEE ALSO: Nancy Pelosi's bid for House Speaker is in a lot more trouble than she's letting on

    Join the conversation about this story »

    NOW WATCH: The Obamas are worth $40 million — here's how they make and spend their money

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    Rep. Mimi Walters

    • Democratic challenger Katie Porter defeated Republican incumbent Rep. Mimi Walters in the race for California's 45th district on Thursday night, flipping the seat from red to blue.
    • A Walters campaign fundraising email from former House Speaker Newt Gingrich obtained by INSIDER claims that a "green wave" of liberal dark money "crashed over California," propelling Democrats to victory.
    • In reality, "dark money" groups spent four times as much on Walters, the Republican candidate, than Porter, the Democrat. 

    As Democrats position themselves to flip five Republican-held seats in Southern California, Newt Gingrich claimed in a Thursday night fundraising email for Rep. Mimi Walters' campaign that a "green wave" of Democratic "dark money" propelled Democrats to victory — despite the fact that "dark money" groups actually spent four times more on Walters than her Democratic opponent. 

    On Thursday evening, the Associated Press called the hotly-contested race in the 45th district for Democratic candidate Katie Porter, a law professor who challenged incumbent Rep. Mimi Walters and led by a margin of 6,000 votes on Thursday. 

    Read more: California Rep. Mimi Walters' campaign accuses Democrats of planning to 'steal' her seat as her opponent takes the lead in tough reelection bid

    A Nov. 15 Walters fundraising email from former House speaker Newt Gingrich and obtained by INSIDER read, "The media didn't tell you about the real story this election cycle. There was no blue wave — if there had been, the Democrats would have seized the Senate...we're seeing a green wave wash over California right now."

    "The real wave was green — as in liberal dark money," the email continued, "The Democratic machine poured money into California to flip Republican House seats. [Mimi] needs our help to prepare for a possible recount and win the seat. The left has spent tens of millions of dollars in an attempt to buy this seat and defeat Mimi...fighting back to keep this election fair is going to take everything we've got."

    The Walters campaign did not respond to INSIDER's request for comment on whether they planned to file a request for a recount. 

    Newt Gingrich

    "Dark money" broadly refers to political donations that come from non-profit groups registered with the IRS, like 501(c)4 social welfare groups. Unlike political action committees, these 501(c) nonprofits are not required to register with the FEC and disclose their donors.

    Gingrich's lamenting of a "green wave" of dark money carrying Democrats to victory — also echoed in a Fox News op-ed from earlier this month — is somewhat contradicted by the actual fundraising data available so far in Southern California Congressional races.

    In the race for California's 45th district, non-disclosing outside groups actually spent more than four times as much money support to Walters, the Republican candidate, than to support Porter, the Democratic nominee. While two 501(c) groups spent a total $256,000 to support Walters, a mixture of 501(c)s spent a total of $57,680 to support Porter. 

    According to FEC disclosures analyzed by the Center for Responsive Politics, none of the candidates who ran in Orange County general election contests raised more than 1.73% of their direct campaign funds from non-profit groups that do not disclose their donors.

    Read more: Tensions flare as candidates accuse each other of ballot tampering and "foul play" in a close California congressional race

    In terms of money not donated directly to a candidate's campaign and spent to support the candidates in the form of TV ad buys, for example, "dark money" groups expended $1.5 million to support the five Democratic candidates in competitive Southern California races and $1.27 million supporting the Republicans, according to data compiled by the Center for Responsive Politics. 

    This means that while spending from non-disclosing groups slightly favored Democrats, Southern California candidates of both parties benefited from the "green wave," as Gingrich put it. And if outside money could really "buy" a House seat, Republicans would have won in at least two districts. 

    Outside groups spent more on Democrats than Republicans in two races, the contest for California's 39th district and the 25th, groups supporting the Democratic and Republican candidates spent almost exactly the same amount in the 48th district, and 501(c)s spent more on Republicans than Democrats in the 45th and in the 49th district. 

    Join the conversation about this story »

    NOW WATCH: This top economist has a radical plan to change the way Americans vote

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    Mott & Bow

    • One of our favorite denim startups is known for making under-$150 jeans that look and feel a lot more expensive.
    • As Black Friday nears, the pairs have become even more affordable. Mott & Bow is now offering 25% off sitewide through Cyber Monday for new customers, and you can save up to 35% off if you spend $300 or more.
    • To potentially save more on Black Friday, you can visit Business Insider Coupons to find up-to-date promo codes for a range of online stores.

    If you've been reading Insider Picks for a while, you may have stumbled across one or two articles about Mott & Bow jeans before. The company's denim is extremely comfortable (so comfortable we've even accidentally slept in them), and its women's skinny jeans, in particular, are among the most flattering and slimming we've tried.

    For the last four years, Mott & Bow has made a name for itself by selling premium jeans at affordable prices, and now the deals are better than ever before with its Black Friday sale.

    During Black Friday weekend, new customers can enjoy 25% off sitewide. You'll save more above certain order totals: 30% off orders of $200 or more and $35% off orders of $300 or more. 

    With great savings on jeans, shirts, and sweaters for men and women, you'll want to take advantage of these savings while they last. When Black Friday officially rolls around on November 23, there's a chance the pieces you're after may already be sold out in your size.

    Shop the Mott & Bow Black Friday Sale now, so you don't miss out on any styles you really want. And if you need some ideas for what to buy, check out some of Mott & Bow's jeans and shirts for men and women on sale for Black Friday below.

    Looking for more deals? We've rounded up the best Black Friday and Cyber Monday deals on the internet.

    SEE ALSO: 

    Mom Jean

    Mom Jean in Benson, $88.50 (originally $118) [You save $29.50] 

    The waist-defining and comfortable Mom jeans were a hit among the women of Insider Picks, and we bet they'll be for you, too. 

    High Rise Skinny

    High Rise Skinny in Bond, $96 (originally $128) [You save $32] 

    Flattering on all body types, the skinny jean is made from a power stretch fabric that also resists fading. 

    Mid Rise Skinny

    Mid Rise Skinny in Grove, $96 (originally $128) [You save $32] 

    This mid-rise fit in a dark blue is an equally sleek skinny jean choice.

    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    seven continent cruise ship

    • A luxury cruise ship will take passengers on a 140-day journey that spans all seven continents and costs up to $240,000 per person.
    • The cruising company Silversea says the ship, Silver Whisper, will be the first to cruise to all seven continents.
    • The cruise is set to kick off in 2020 and visit 62 ports in at least 32 countries.
    • It will begin in Florida and end in Amsterdam, stopping at ports including Singapore, Mumbai, Rome, and Antarctica.

    If a typical seven-day cruise that stops at only a few ports isn't appealing, then maybe a new ultra-luxurious world cruise is for you.

    In 2020, the cruising company Silversea is set to kick off a 140-day cruise making stops on all seven continents — for $62,000 to $240,000 per person.

    Dubbed "Legends of Cruising," the trip will begin in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, on January 6, 2020, and stop at 62 ports in at least 32 countries before ending up in Amsterdam on May 25. Up to 382 guests will be aboard.

    "Unlike any other world cruise ever conceived, Legends of Cruising takes you on a journey that lets you set foot on all seven continents," Silversea's website says.

    "There are those who believe they belong to the 1%, and those who actually do. And then there are those who are part of the 1% of the 1%," the website says. It's those people Silversea envisions embarking on its Legends of Cruising trip.

    Here's a look at the super-luxe ship for the cruise, Silver Whisper:

    SEE ALSO: This cruise ship is full of apartments that were designed to look like luxury condos in NYC and London — and wealthy people are dishing out up to $36 million for them

    DON'T MISS: What it's like living in Monaco, the glamorous city-state on the French Riviera that's home to a glitzy annual yacht show and where an estimated 1 in 3 people is a millionaire

    Silversea says Silver Whisper is its "world-cruisers preferred ship" with "the amenities of a grand resort" and "the charms of a stylish boutique hotel."

    Source: Silversea

    The 2020 world cruise on Silver Whisper will last 140 days and be the first to visit all seven continents, according to Silversea.

    Source: Silversea

    The ship is set to stop at 62 ports in at least 32 countries.

    Source: Silversea

    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    tulum homeaway

    • For your next vacation, treat yourself luxuriously.
    • We teamed up with HomeAway to find home rentals with some of the best luxury amenities around the world.
    • From a villa in Spain with a helicopter landing pad to a home in Jamaica with a chef and butler, these luxury vacation rentals range from about $1,300 to $14,400 a night.

    Vacation is always "treat yourself" time.

    We teamed up with HomeAway to find home rentals with some of the best luxury amenities around the world, from France to Mexico. They don't come cheap — prices per night start at four figures and go up to five figures, but if you have the means (or bring your friends and family along to split the cost), these spots are worth it.

    There are two villas in Spain, one with a helicopter landing pad and one with a wellness and mindfulness private trainer; a beachfront villa in Jamaica with a full staff including a chef, nanny, and butler; an estate in Croatia with a wine cellar; beach bungalows in The Bahamas with a private beach club; and a villa in Thailand with a private spa and massage therapists.

    Take a peek at them all below, ranked by cost per night.

    SEE ALSO: 9 of the coolest tiny homes around the world to rent on your next vacation

    DON'T MISS: What a $1 million vacation looks like in Mykonos, Greece, where you'll fly in on a private jet, sleep in an ocean-view villa, and cruise the seas in a yacht

    Ibiza, Spain — $1,367 per night

    A modern villa in the Balearics with a full range of therapists at your service and a large saltwater pool.

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    Nantes, France — $1,519 per night

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    State Senate candidate Alessandra Biaggi at a campaign event in July.

    • Much attention has been paid to the wave of women elected to go to Washington this fall, but women are also storming politics at the local levels. 
    • More than 2,000 women will serve in state legislatures next year — growing the number of women in local chambers by several hundred and breaking previous records for female representation.
    • But the work of the so-called "pink wave" isn't done. Men will continue to make up just over three quarters of state lawmakers across the country.

    Much attention has been paid to the wave of women elected to go to Washington this fall, but women are also storming politics at the local levels. 

    More than 2,000 women will serve in state legislatures next year — growing the number of women in local chambers by several hundred and breaking previous records for female representation, according to new reports from the Center for American Women and Politics at Rutgers University (CAWP). 

    And these numbers could grow even larger, as the Associated Press has yet to call 216 state legislative races, which include about 185 female candidates. While women remain small minorities in the vast majority of bodies, they could end up making up majorities in the Colorado House and Nevada Assembly. 

    "We are very encouraged by these results. This is the largest increase in women's representation in state legislatures we’ve seen in some time, after more than a decade of relative stagnation," Debbie Walsh, director of the Rutgers center, told the AP. "The only question that remains is whether 2018 was a one-off or a new norm."

    Right now, 1,875 of the country's 7,383 state lawmakers are women. Sixty-one percent of these women are Democrats, while about 37% are Republicans. Experts have pointed out that as long as women struggle to gain a foothold in the Republican Party, their overall numbers won't rise much above the 25% mark. 

    The last surge of women winning state legislative seats was in the 1970s and 1980s, but in the decades since, female representation in these bodies has remained relatively stagnant. This year's enthusiasm among female candidates, voters, volunteers, and donors was in part fueled by deep-seated anti-Trump sentiment and the #MeToo movement, which have grown the gender gap between Democrats and Republicans to historic highs. 

    While more women than ever before will sit in the US Congress next year, women didn't manage to break records in the Senate or in governors' mansions.

    Experts say there is a host of reasons why female candidates are running in larger numbers, including anger at the current administration and frustration with the imbalance in power at every level of politics. There's also evidence that women, particularly when running in Democratic primaries, can use their gender to their advantage. 

    "I think we're getting closer to a time when we can talk about gender and particularly the gender experience you have as a credential for office and not as a hurdle that you have to overcome or avoid," Kelly Dittmar, a scholar at the Rutgers center, told INSIDER in August.

    But the so-called "pink wave" has much work left to do. Men will continue to make up just over three quarters of state lawmakers across the country.

    SEE ALSO: How Trump and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez energized a group of women looking to reshape New York politics

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    stacey abrams

    • Republican Brian Kemp will become the next governor of Georgia after his Democratic opponent, Stacey Abrams, ended her bid on Friday evening after a tight and contentious battle.
    • Kemp claimed victory with 50.22 percent of the vote — just barely over the 50 percent threshold to avoid a runoff.
    • Abrams accused Kemp of "deliberate and intentional" voter-suppression tactics and said she would file suit against the state for "gross mismanagement" of the election.

    Republican Brian Kemp will become the next governor of Georgia after his Democratic opponent, Stacey Abrams, ended her bid on Friday evening after a tight and contentious battle.

    Kemp claimed victory with 50.22 percent of the vote — just barely over the 50 percent threshold to avoid a runoff and, as of Thursday night, earned 54,801 more votes than his opponent did, out of a total 3.9 million ballots cast.

    Abrams, who has for months accused Kemp of disenfranchising voters as Georgia's secretary of state, refused to give a traditional concession speech, accusing Kemp of undermining the state's democracy in order to improve his electoral chances.

    "I acknowledge that Brian Kemp will be certified as the victor in the 2018 gubernatorial election," Abrams said during her Friday speech. "But to watch an elected official who claims to represent the people in this state baldly pin his hopes for election on suppression of the people's democratic right to vote has been truly appalling. So let's be clear, this is not a speech of concession."

    Abrams blamed the state's voter roll purges — which, under Kemp's direction, removed 1.5 million voters from the rolls, the classification of about 50,000 voters as "pending" because their information didn't exactly match that in government files, long lines, faulty equipment, and closed polling places for disenfranchising an untold number of Georgians, a group that disproportionately comprises people of color.

    "I will not concede because the erosion of our democracy is not right," said Abrams, who would have become the country's first African American female governor. "But my assessment is that the law currently allows no further viable remedy."

    Read more:Hotly contested recounts are underway in Florida, as Georgia and Arizona scramble to finalize results in key races

    The Georgia race was one of the most contentious and closely-watched in the country, as Abrams, who received a last-minute boost from Oprah, battled it out with Kemp, a strong Trump supporter who benefited from the president's endorsement. Abrams, the former state House minority leader, came closer to winning a statewide race in Georgia than any Democrat has in decades.

    Over the last two weeks, thousands of provisional ballots were counted — including at polling sites that initially said they had completed their counts.

    "Make no mistake, the former secretary of state was deliberate and intentional in his actions," she said. "I know that eight years of systemic disenfranchisement, disinvestment, and incompetence had its desired effect on the electoral process in Georgia."

    Abrams also said her team would be filing a "major lawsuit" against the state of Georgia for "gross mismanagement" of the election.

    "Voting is not a right for some, it is a right for all, and it is not a privilege," Abrams said.

    Read more: Democrats' 3 biggest rising stars came up short in an otherwise successful night for the party

    But Abrams also said she would "pray for the success of Brian Kemp that he will indeed be a leader of all Georgians."

    Trump offered some praise for Abrams on Friday evening: "Stacey Abrams fought brilliantly and hard - she will have a terrific political future!"

    In a statement on Friday evening, Kemp, who previously called Abrams' refusal to concede "a disgrace to democracy" and a "temper tantrum," said he looked forward to moving past the divisive race.

    "I appreciate her passion, hard work, and commitment to public service," Kemp said of his opponent. "The election is over and hardworking Georgians are ready to move forward. We can no longer dwell on the divisive politics of the past but must focus on Georgia's bright and promising future."

    SEE ALSO: Georgia politician and protesters are arrested in the state capitol as tension over tight governors race comes to a head

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