At a campaign event in Lebanon, New Hampshire, on Sunday, a guy named Josh asked Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) what she would look for in a vice president if she were to win the Democratic nomination and the 2020 election. He mentioned her dog, Bailey, before roping in the current vice president. “Do you whisper into Bailey’s ear: ‘Who is going to be my Mike Pence? Who is gonna look at me with adoring eyes?’” Josh asked. “I already have a dog,” Warren quipped. The audience loved it.
More of her answer pic.twitter.com/PCifvllXVc
— Tommy X-TrumpIsARacist-opher (@tommyxtopher) February 10, 2020
But Warren did go on to answer the question: “It’s so easy to get discouraged and to say Mitch McConnell just ruins everything — there’s a lot of truth in that, too — but it isn’t everything. There is a lot we can still do. … What kind of vice president do I want? I want someone who’s going to be in the fight with me. I want a partner.” Warren is trailing in third or fourth place in recent polls in New Hampshire, which holds its primary on Tuesday. Peter Weber
dept. of nope
Trump’s $4.8 trillion budget would cut domestic safety net, hike military spending
Samuel Corum/Getty Images
President Trump will unveil his fiscal 2021 budget blueprint on Monday, and the $4.8 trillion proposal would boost military spending while sharply cutting most other domestic agencies, foreign aid, and social safety-net programs, according to summary tables and unidentified administration officials. The budget forecasts a drop in the federal budget deficit from $1.08 trillion this year to $966 billion in fiscal 2021 and $261 billion in 2030, but those numbers are based on rosy economic forecasts and steep domestic cuts almost certain to die in Congress.
Trump’s budget leaves Medicare and Social Security benefits largely untouched, but it takes $700 billion out of Medicaid over 10 years, proposes cuts to food stamps, farm subsides, and student loan programs, and nibbles at Social Security disability benefits and Medicare provider payments. Those domestic cuts “couldn’t pass when Republicans controlled Congress, much less now with liberal House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) setting the agenda,” The Associated Press notes, and Congress sets the spending levels.
Trump proposes $1 trillion in infrastructure spending over 10 years and seeks to move the Secret Service to the Treasury Department from the Department of Homeland Security. Overall, the budget proposes $740.5 billion in military spending and $590 billion in domestic spending, ripping up a budget deal worked out with Congress in December. “Once again the president is showing just how little he values the good health, financial security, and well-being of hard-working American families,” Pelosi said Sunday night. “Year after year, President Trump’s budgets have sought to inflict devastating cuts to critical lifelines that millions of Americans rely on.” Peter Weber
2020 iowa caucuses
Bernie Sanders to ask for ‘partial recanvass’ in Iowa after new results keep Buttigieg’s delegate lead
Joseph Prezioso/AFP/Getty Images
The Iowa Democratic Party finished its review Sunday of 95 precincts from last Monday’s caucuses, and the final results were the same: former Mayor Pete Buttigieg beat Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) by 0.1 percent in state delegates, giving Buttigieg 14 state delegate equivalents, Sanders 12, Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) eight, former Vice President Joe Biden six, and Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.) one SDE. Candidates have until Monday at 1 p.m. to request a final review, and the Sanders campaign said it will seek a “partial recanvass” of 20 to 30 Iowa precincts. A recanvass is not a recount but a cross-check of the vote numbers against paper records.
The Iowa Democratic caucuses were a mess, and the Democratic National Committee is reconsidering Iowa’s first-in-the-nation voting status, chairman Tom Perez said on CNN Sunday. Sanders had the most support overall and claimed a popular victory in the caucuses, but due to how the Iowa Democratic Party apportions delegates, Buttigieg has maintained a consistent lead in the category traditionally used to name the winner. The Associated Press has declined to name a winner of the Iowa caucuses, citing accuracy concerns and the likelihood of revisions.
The voting records submitted by Iowa caucus precinct chairs had some obvious errors, but the IDP says it can’t legally change any mathematical errors because that would amount to illegal vote tampering. Perez said he’s “mad as hell” about Iowa’s mistakes and predicted there would be “a further conversation about whether or not state parties should be running elections.” Peter Weber
Netflix wins just 2 Oscars after scoring 24 nominations
February 9, 2020
It wasn’t a great night for Netflix at the 2020 Oscars.
The company made history last month when it picked up 24 Oscar nods, the first time that a streaming service earned more Academy Award nominations than any studio. But in the end, Netflix walked away from the show this year with just two awards.
As expected, Laura Dern took the Best Supporting Actress Oscar for her performance in Netflix’s Marriage Story, and Netflix’s American Factory won Best Documentary Feature. But that’s all, folks. Netflix was shut out of every other competition and lost the Best Picture prize to Parasite.
Netflix has had its eye on the Best Picture Academy Award for years now, pushing Alfonso Cuaron’s Roma in 2019. Though Roma was considered the frontrunner to win, it couldn’t go all the way and was upset by Green Book. At the time, pundits speculated that backlash within the Academy to Netflix’s growing domination and especially its unwillingness to adhere to theatrical norms played a role.
This year, Netflix seemed to have a major Best Picture contender in Martin Scorsese’s The Irishman, which was widely praised by critics. Yet as awards season progressed, it quickly fell out of the conversation as a legitimate Best Picture contender, being completely shut out of the Golden Globes last month and going on to get shut out of the Oscars, too.
Whether Netflix backlash may have once again hurt the streamer at the Oscars this year isn’t clear, especially since The Irishman never really emerged as a Best Picture threat. But when 1917 took the top prize at the Golden Globes last month, director Sam Mendes emphasized the importance of the theatrical experience in an apparent swipe at Netflix, saying he hopes people see the film “on the big screen, the way it was intended.” Oscar voters may have been on the same page. Brendan Morrow
Parasite makes Oscars history as the 1st foreign-language Best Picture winner
February 9, 2020
History has been made at the Oscars.
Bong Joon-ho’s Parasite pulled off a major upset at Sunday’s Academy Awards by winning Best Picture over the heavy favorite, 1917. In doing so, Parasite becomes the first foreign-language film to ever win Best Picture in the 92-year history of the Oscars.
Foreign-language films have competed for Best Picture before, with 11 others having been nominated in Oscars history. This included in 2019, when Roma was considered the favorite to win Best Picture but ultimately lost to Green Book. Parasite was also the first South Korean movie to be nominated for Best Picture.
This win came after Parasite also became the first foreign-language film to take the top prize at the Screen Actors Guild Awards. But pundits widely expected a Best Picture win for 1917 after its victories at the Golden Globes, the Producers Guild of America Awards, the Directors Guilds of America Awards, and the British Academy Film Awards. In years’ past, analysts had also theorized a foreign-language film would have difficulty taking Best Picture because voters would consider the separate Oscar of Best International Feature Film enough recognition.
But passion within the Academy for Parasite was strong enough that Bong’s film took not just Best International Feature Film, but also Best Original Screenplay, Best Director, and Best Picture.
Parasite had previously won the Golden Globe for Best Foreign Language Film, during which Bong in his acceptance speech memorably noted, “Once you overcome the one-inch-tall barrier of subtitles, you will be introduced to so many more amazing films.” Oscar voters, it seems, took his advice. Brendan Morrow
16 years later, Renée Zellweger scores her 2nd Oscar
February 9, 2020
Renée Zellweger is back, and the Academy is giving her a warm welcome.
As expected, Zellweger on Sunday won the Academy Award for Best Actress for her performance as Judy Garland in Judy. This was her second Oscar win after taking Best Supporting Actress in 2004 for Cold Mountain, but it’s her first win in the Best Actress category. She was also nominated for Chicago and Bridget Jones’s Diary.
Zellweger was the frontrunner to win Best Actress going back several months, and she previously swept the Golden Globe Awards, the Screen Actors Guild Awards, the Critics’ Choice Movie Awards, and the British Academy Film Awards. She was competing against Cynthia Erivo, Scarlett Johansson, Saoirse Ronan, and Charlize Theron.
Judy was seen as a return to form for Zellweger, who took a hiatus from acting for six years before returning with Bridget Jones’s Baby in 2016. The Academy loves nothing if not a comeback narrative and on Sunday was eager to reward Zellweger for her widely-praised, transformative performance.
In her acceptance speech, Zellweger paid tribute to Garland, calling her “among the heroes who unite and define us.” Brendan Morrow
Joaquin Phoenix becomes the 2nd actor to win an Oscar for playing the Joker
February 9, 2020
Warner Bros. Pictures
Looking to win an Academy Award? Playing the Joker is becoming a pretty decent shot at one.
Joaquin Phoenix on Sunday took home the Oscar for Best Actor for his performance in Joker, becoming the second person to win an Oscar for portraying the Batman villain. The first, of course, was Heath Ledger, who in 2009 posthumously won Best Supporting Actor for Christopher Nolan’s The Dark Knight.
Phoenix, who picks up the first Oscar of his career after four nominations, remained the frontrunner to win Best Actor throughout awards season, and he previously won at the Golden Globe Awards, the Critics’ Choice Movie Awards, the Screen Actors Guild Awards, and the British Academy Film Awards. In his SAG Awards acceptance speech, Phoenix paid tribute to Ledger, calling him his “favorite actor.”
When Joker scored 11 nominations at the 2020 Oscars, this set a new record for most Academy Awards nods for a comic book film. Appropriately enough, this came 11 years after outcry over The Dark Knight not being nominated for Best Picture became part of what inspired the Academy to expand the Best Picture line-up to more than five nominees. Brendan Morrow
Parasite’s Bong Joon-ho wins the Best Director Oscar in a major upset
February 9, 2020
Mark Ralston / Getty Images
The 2020 Oscars finally have a big upset.
Bong Joon-ho on Sunday won the Oscar for Best Director for Parasite, beating out the heavy favorite, 1917′s Sam Mendes. Previously, Parasite won Best International Feature Film, as well as Best Original Screenplay.
In his acceptance speech, Bong through a translator joked he “thought I was done for the day and was ready to relax” after winning Best International Feature Film. He also paid tribute to the fellow nominees including Martin Scorsese, who received a standing ovation.
This win for Parasite was particularly surprising after 1917 dominated throughout awards season and Mendes took the top prize at the Directors Guild of America awards, which usually lines up with the Oscars’ Best Director winner.
“I will drink until next morning,” Bong joked as he wrapped up, now with three Oscar wins under his belt. Brendan Morrow