• U.S.
    The Week

    Upon leaving prison, Rod Blagojevich announces his new party affiliation: 'I'm a Trumpocrat'

    President Trump went from berating former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich for his lack of Harry Potter knowledge to commuting his prison sentence.In 2011, Blagojevich was convicted of wire fraud, attempted extortion, soliciting bribes, conspiracy to commit extortion, and conspiracy to solicit and accept bribes, and sentenced to 14 years in prison. The year before, he appeared on The Apprentice, where he bombed a Harry Potter-related task. Trump admonished him for sharing "inaccurate" facts about the boy wizard, and once Blagojevich began blathering about "Slithering and Hufflepuff and Ravencloth," it was all over. Thinking about the time Donald Trump scolded Rod Blagojevich on the Celebrity Apprentice over inaccurate Harry Potter facts and inadequate Harry Potter research pic.twitter.com/rx7PH7qP4I -- Josh Billinson (@jbillinson) August 8, 2019On Tuesday, Trump announced he had commuted Blagojevich's sentence, but didn't mention anything about once firing him from his reality show. "He served eight years in jail, a long time," Trump said. "He seems like a very nice person -- don't know him."Reporters spotted Blagojevich on Tuesday night, as he prepared to board a flight from Denver to Chicago. Blagojevich shared that while in prison, he thought a lot about the "broken and unfair criminal justice system" and how there are "too many people who have too much power who don't have any accountability." He expressed his "most profound and everlasting gratitude to President Trump," adding that "he's a Republican president, I was a Democratic governor. My fellow Democrats have not been very kind to him -- in fact, they've been very unkind to him. If you're asking me what my party affiliation is, I'm a Trumpocrat."Blagojevich will hold a press conference at his home in Chicago on Wednesday, where he's expected to answer hard-hitting questions, like "Did you finally get around to reading Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban?" More stories from theweek.com Mike Bloomberg is not the lesser of two evils The family of 1 new Trump pardon recipient donated $200,000 to Trump's re-election effort last fall Trump's pardon of Bernie Kerik also apparently wiped out Kerik's $103,300 debt to taxpayers

  • Politics
    The Week

    Obama poked Trump on the economy. Trump took the bait.

    Former President Barack Obama celebrated Presidents' Day — or "President's Day," as President Trump tweeted Monday — by subtweeting his successor on the economy. Eleven years ago today, near the bottom of the worst recession in generations, I signed the Recovery Act, paving the way for more than a decade of economic growth and the longest streak of job creation in American history. pic.twitter.com/BmdXrxUAUf — Barack Obama (@BarackObama) February 17, 2020Trump has been touting the economy in his pitch for re-election, often employing exaggeration, and he got Obama's message. Right on cue. pic.twitter.com/t3zke2uzYB — Brian Tyler Cohen (@briantylercohen) February 17, 2020That could have been the end of it, but Trump is not known for letting things go. So on Tuesday, Trump's trade adviser Peter Navarro, a key proponent of Trump's trade war with China, went on CNN to explain how Trump's economy is much stronger than Obama's. CNN's Poppy Harlow noted that Obama topped 4 percent GDP growth four times while Trump is yet to hit 3 percent, and he created more jobs on average during his second term than Trump has during his first.Navarro was undeterred. "Back in the Obama-Biden years, it was horrible," he said, listing some talking points until Harlow finally broke in, noting the data doesn't support his argument. "You can look at your numbers, but I lived that," Navarro replied. "The numbers are the numbers, Peter," Harlow said. "This is all politics," Navarro concluded.Axios took its own look at the numbers and ranked Trump's economy No. 6 out of the last 10 presidential administrations, based on average GDP growth, "the most comprehensive economic scorecard — and something presidents, especially Trump, use as an example of success." Presidents have limited control over the economy, but the average GDP growth under Trump is higher than under Obama, and "some aspects of the Trump economy, like wage growth and business investment, pale in comparison to other periods," Axios notes."Unlike other presidents, Trump inherited a steady economy that's since entered the longest stretch of growth in history," Axios says. "Interest rates remain low. Growth picked up in the wake of the 2017 tax cuts, but now the pace has moderated," hitting 2.3 percent in 2019. The juice from Trump's $1.5 trillion tax cut is wearing off and "businesses were too unnerved by the trade war to spend money on new factories or equipment — a key driver of growth," Axios reports. If consumer spending drops, watch Obama's twitter feed.More stories from theweek.com Mike Bloomberg is not the lesser of two evils The family of 1 new Trump pardon recipient donated $200,000 to Trump's re-election effort last fall Trump's pardon of Bernie Kerik also apparently wiped out Kerik's $103,300 debt to taxpayers

  • Lifestyle
    In The Know

    Twitter users dumbfounded by woman’s ‘disgusting’ bath video: ‘How do you even get that out of your tub?’

    A college student is confounding the internet with a video that left social media users with far more questions than answers.

  • Celebrity
    Business Insider

    I flew on Vietnam's award-winning budget airline known for its bikini-clad flight attendants 3 times in one week, and it was an emotional rollercoaster

    I flew on three Vietjet Air flights in less than a week on a recent trip to Vietnam. Here is what flying on the budget airline is really like.

  • World
    Yahoo News UK

    Storm Dennis: Remarkable drone pictures show flooding devastation

    The utter devastation caused by Storm Dennis has been captured by drone pictures.Images taken from above Crickhowell in Powys, Wales, show how the market town was completely flooded.The town was left underwater after a month’s worth of rain fell on Saturday and Sunday.The River Usk broke its banks near a bridge, flooding the town with muddy water.Many people across the UK have been surveying the flood damage caused to their homes by the storm.The government said climate change meant it could not protect every household from flooding.Read more: Major incidents declared across UK over Storm Dennis floodsPolice fear a woman has died after being swept away by floodwater.West Mercia Police said the search for a woman missing near Tenbury in Worcestershire since Sunday morning had resumed on Monday.The storm’s aftermath continued to cause transport chaos on Monday as train lines and roads were blocked by flooding and fallen trees.Network Rail is assessing the repairs needed to reopen parts of the railway damaged by torrential downpours and strong winds over the weekend.CrossCountry, Great Western Railway, Northern, South Western Railway, Southern, Thameslink and Transport for Wales were among the operators with delays and cancellations on Monday morning.

  • Celebrity
    The Week

    Ben Affleck says an associate warned 'you'll drink yourself to death' if he didn't drop out of The Batman

    Ben Affleck opened up in a new interview about his struggle with alcoholism and his decision to walk away from Batman.The actor, who was originally set to direct and star in 2021's The Batman but dropped out of the project, spoke with The New York Times in a profile published Tuesday, in which he revealed his choice to exit the film was related to his battle with alcoholism."I showed somebody the Batman script," Affleck said. "They said, 'I think the script is good. I also think you'll drink yourself to death if you go through what you just went though again.''This was after Affleck had reprised the role of Batman in the critical failure and commercial disappointment Justice League, which followed the movie in which Affleck debuted as Batman, Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice. The Times writes that Affleck's experience on Justice League, which went through heavy reshoots, "sapped his interest" in Batman. After Affleck dropped out of the standalone film, Matt Reeves stepped in to replace him as director, while Robert Pattinson is taking over as the caped crusader.Affleck further opened up about his struggle with alcoholism throughout the interview, discussing the fact that he "started drinking more and more when my marriage was falling apart" and telling the Times, "It took me a long time to fundamentally, deeply, without a hint of doubt, admit to myself that I am an alcoholic. The next drink will not be different." Read the full interview at The New York Times.More stories from theweek.com Mike Bloomberg is not the lesser of two evils The family of 1 new Trump pardon recipient donated $200,000 to Trump's re-election effort last fall Trump's pardon of Bernie Kerik also apparently wiped out Kerik's $103,300 debt to taxpayers