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WASHINGTON – Look what you made us do, senators.
Tuesday’s Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on Ticketmaster’s disastrous Taylor Swift sale was rife with awkward moments as “Fearless” lawmakers made repeated references to the superstar when they really “Should Have Said No.”
Though the hearing tackled serious allegations that Ticketmaster has monopolized the industry after merging with LiveNation in 2010, several lawmakers just couldn’t leave a “Blank Space” where a T-Swift pun could fit.
Before we “Shake It Off”, The Post has compiled the most bizarre Swift shoutouts from the hearing. Are you ready for it?
Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.) kicked off the hearing with a reference to one of the most popular songs from Swift’s 2012 album, “Red,” to illustrate the principles of capitalism.
“All Too Well” was first released more than a decade ago but gained popularity again last year when Swift put out a 10-minute version with previously unreleased lyrics. Swifties insist the song is about the artist’s brief romance with movie star Jake Gyllenhaal.
Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah) reached back to Swift’s second album, “Fearless,” for his questionable — and misquoted — quip about returning to the Competition Policy, Antitrust, and Consumer Rights Subcommittee as ranking member after Republicans failed to win a Senate majority in the midterm elections.
Lee’s comment referenced Swift’s song “You Belong With Me,” whose lyrics go in part: “She wears short skirts/I wear T-shirts/She’s cheer captain, and I’m on the bleachers.”
Giving his thoughts on a proposal that lawmakers ban ticket buyers from transferring their ducats to other people in order to crack down on scalpers, Lee shamelessly referenced the lyrics of “Blank Space” from Swift’s fifth album, “1989.”
“But you’ll come back each time you leave/Cause, darling, I’m a nightmare dressed like a daydream,” Swift sings in the 2017 hit.
In Lee’s third and final Swift-themed wisecrack at the hearing, he admitted his witticisms were inspired by his teenage daughter. In the remark directed at LiveNation CEO Joe Berchtold, the senator used the chorus of “Karma” to scold the company for its seemingly monopolistic practices.
“Karma” appears on Swift’s tenth album, “Midnights,” which was released last year.
Growing tired of Berchtold’s reluctance to take responsibility for the ticket sale fiasco, Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) referenced lyrics to Swift’s “Anti-Hero” to suggest Ticketmaster own up to its faults after blaming high demand, ticket scalpers and bots for last fall’s debacle.
“It’s me, hi. I’m the problem, it’s me,” Swift croons in the chorus of “Anti-Hero,” the most popular song on her latest album, “Midnights.”
Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) appeared to reference Swift’s sixth album, “Reputation,” while noting how the hearing united both Republicans and Democrats on the ticket sales and antitrust issue.
“We are in a new Congress the chance to start over and move forward hopefully in a productive fashion,” he added, sans Swift references. “I think this hearing today represents the best of the committee.”
By: Ny Post
Tennessee pro-life center funding – One America News Network
OAN Roy Francis
9:14 AM PT – Wednesday, February 8, 2023
Governor Bill Lee of Tennessee has proposed establishing a $100 million grant program for pro-life crisis center in his state.
Bill Lee (R-Tenn.) unveiled his plan, stating that his state has a “moral obligation” to support families. Under this plan, Tennessee would transform into “one of the top spending states” on organizations that support pregnant women who are in need of help and resources to keep their babies, rather than making the choice of abortion.
“Pro-life is much more than defending the lives of the unborn,” Lee said. “This is not a matter of politics. This is about human dignity.”
Another part of the plan is to expand “paid parental leave for state employees and widening the Medicaid eligibility for pregnant women and parents.”
“If approved,” the governor explained. “Tennessee will be the first Medicaid program in the nation to implement this kind of support. That’s pro-life. That’s pro-family,”
The governor’s administration also will demand that the federal government pay the cost of diapers for Medicaid recipients for a period of up to two years.
The governor, who is on the advisory board for a crisis pregnancy center, said that his other priorities include teacher pay raise, upgrading the state’s transportation system, and cleaning up toxic waste at industrial sites.
“We can have a healthy debate about the policy specifics, but we can also agree that America is rooted in a commitment to human dignity,” Lee said later on. “There was a significant shift in this country last year when it comes to protecting the lives of the unborn. We now all have an opportunity and a moral obligation to support strong Tennessee families.”
This plan was unveiled during Lee’s annual State of the State address which was held in front of the Republican-led legislature.
The governor touts his state as “a guiding light for opportunity, security & freedom” and laid out his agenda going forward, which was met with protests from the Democrats in the state of Tennessee.
Columbia student from Syria loses nieces, sister-in-law in earthquake
A 28-year-old Syrian student at Columbia University lost his two young nieces and their mom in the devastating earthquake that has claimed at least 11,000 lives in his country and neighboring Turkey.
Hussein Akoush, a student at the Ivy League school in Manhattan since 2021, told The Daily Beast that he was sent into a “panic” when a friend texted him about “massive destruction” in his hometown of Al-Atarib in northwestern Aleppo.
“I saw the magnitude of the earthquake was 7.8. At this point, I realized it was huge,” he told the outlet.
“I had to check in on my family in Syria. So I sent messages to all my sisters and my brother, but none of them received my messages,” said Akoush, who moved to Turkey in 2016 and then to the Big Apple in 2021 to study neuroscience.
He finally heard from his uncle, who said, “‘Don’t worry, we’re fine, your mother and your sister are well,” Akoush told The Daily Beast.
“‘Your brother’s building collapsed but we managed to take him out of the ruins. But we know nothing about his wife and two daughters,’” he said his uncle told him.
Eventually, he learned that his nieces — 6-year-old Sedra and 5-year-old Maria — and their mom Fatima perished in the disaster.
“With a heavy heart and profound grief, I announce the passing away of my two nieces and their mother in last night’s earthquake,” Akoush said on Twitter.
“So, my brother lost his wife and his two daughters,” he told The Daily Beast, adding that his brother has undergone surgery for a broken arm.
“It was a terrible night… I was not able to sleep,” he said.
In a GoFundMe page from 2020, Akoush wrote that “before the Syrian revolution began, I was a hardworking student. I used to be top of my class but I was obliged to drop out of the School of Dentistry at Aleppo University in 2012 for fear of arrest by the Syrian Government due its violent response to the peaceful protests on campus.
“During the war, I dedicated myself to peaceful activism against the brutal dictatorship of Bashar Al Assad, as I watched friends and family members and innocent civilians being ruthlessly killed,” he continued.
Akoush said he learned English, decided to move to Turkey and became a freelance journalist after facing “a litany of death threats and constant bombardment.”
“Fortunately, I was awarded a partial scholarship from Columbia to cover half of the tuition but it is still not enough and that is why I am hoping you will make a donation to help pay for my first year of tuition,” he wrote.
Akoush received $51,426 in donations, surpassing his goal of $50,000.
By: Ny Post
I have to ‘learn to read’ before Barbra Streisand memoir
Lea Michele is poking fun at rumors claiming she can’t read, joking that Barbra Streisand’s memoir release has given her a looming deadline.
“265 days to learn to read,” the “Glee” alum captioned a TikTok shared Wednesday, which showed the actress covering her mouth in a shocked expression.
Michele, 36, leaned out of the video’s frame to show the cover of Streisand’s upcoming memoir, “My Name Is Barbra.”
The 80-year-old singer’s book will be published in November, with her publisher calling it “frank, funny, opinionated, and charming.”
In a press release, Viking wrote, “Barbra Streisand is a living legend, a woman who in a career spanning six decades has excelled in every area of entertainment, and this engrossing and delightful book will be eagerly welcomed by her millions of fans.”
The statement continued, “Dozens of books have been written about Streisand, and now in My Name Is Barbra, she tells her story in her own words.”
Michele’s social media upload, which her followers praised as “iconic” and “funny,” did not mark the first time she has addressed speculation about her reading and writing skills.
The Broadway star called the rumors “sad” in a September 2022 New York Times interview.
“I think often if I were a man, a lot of this wouldn’t be the case,” she said, pointing out that she showed up to the “Glee” set with her lines memorized “every single day” for six seasons.
Last month, one of Michele’s friends — and former “Scream Queens” co-star” — Emma Roberts played coy about the longstanding gossip on “Watch What Happens Live With Andy Cohen.”
“We have not been in book club together,” the “American Horror Story” alum teased.
However, when Michele began starring in “Funny Girl” on Broadway last year, she received, and presumably read, a “beautiful letter” from Streisand, who once played the role.
“It was very sweet,” Michele gushed to Seth Meyers in December 2022. “She was like, ‘It’s really wonderful when your dreams come true, isn’t it?’”
The Emmy nominee “fell to [her] knees” over the note and immediately called her loved ones.
By: Ny Post
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