News with a twist Lisa Neff and Louis Weisberg, Staff writersUpdated
A royal toast, or fourAt 91, does Queen Elizabeth have a secret tonic? Well, according to Travel + Leisure magazine, she actually enjoys a daily gin and Dubonnet with a slice of lemon and lots of ice before lunch, followed by a glass of wine and a dry gin martini at lunch and a glass of Champagne before bed. Here, here.
Plastic bingeA woman from a city in central China accumulated more than $3.71 million in personal debt and then attempted to avoid repayment and arrest by undergoing plastic surgery. Reuters reported police officers searching for a 59-year-old woman were astonished to find a woman who looked to be in her 30s. How did she pay for the disguise? She used a credit card, of course.
Better off firedThe week Anthony Scaramucci learned he was out as President Donald Trump’s communication director, he also learned he was dead — at least according to the Harvard Law School’s alumni directory. The directory mailed to alumni in late July showed an asterisk next to Scaramucci’s name, indicating the 53-year-old Ivy Leaguer had died. The school issued an apology and said the error would be corrected in subsequent editions, which are published every five years.
Give a little, take a lotDonald Trump, as a candidate, promised not to take a salary for serving as president. Since the law says he must be paid, the president is donating his salary. His first-quarter “earnings” went to the Interior Department. And the second-quarter paycheck went to the Education Department, which is due for a 13 percent cut in Trump’s proposed budget. WigWAG wonders: Are donations to government agencies tax-deductible? We’ll probably never know what Trump’s tax returns show.
Gut-bustersThe Center for Science in the Public Interest issued its annual “Xtreme Eating” awards, recognizing “nutritional nightmares” served in U.S. restaurants. The Cheesecake Factory made the list twice. Its Pasta Napoletana — sausage, pepperoni, meatballs and bacon on pasta that’s been greased with butter and cream — delivers 2,310 calories and 79 grams of saturated fat. And then there’s the boozy Flying Gorilla shake — five scoops of chocolate ice cream drenched in 20 ounces of Budweiser beer.
Not a new dealDemocratic Party leaders this summer rolled out a new agenda with a populist pitch aimed at winning back voters lost to Donald Trump in the 2016 election — still a baffling thought. Promoting “A Better Deal: Better Jobs, Better Wages, Better Future,” the leadership promised “a better deal for American workers.” The rebranding effort prompted a small protest, at which activists hoisted pizza boxes with photos of Nancy Pelosi and the words “Better skills, Better jobs, Better wages, Still Pelosi.” Some have mocked the Dems’ slogan as similar to “Better Ingredients, Better Pizza,” the slogan for Papa John’s pizza.
Hypocritical much?During a debate with Chelsea Handler over Obamacare, right-wing firebrand and Trump supporter Tomi Lahren admitted she takes advantage of the health care law’s benefits — despite opposing it. At age 24, Lahren remains on her parents’ health insurance policy, thanks to a provision in the law that allows such coverage up to age 26. The debate occurred at Politicon, a non-partisan event.
Un-presidential personifiedBefore he exited his clown car and entered the presidential circus, Donald Trump was close to signing on to play the president in Sharknado 3: Oh Hell No! But then, he decided not to because — wait for it — he was afraid the appearance would make him look un-presidential. Producer David Latt asked Mark Cuban to take the role instead, triggering a swift threat from a Trump lawyer: “He basically said, ‘How dare you? Donald wanted to do this. We’re going to sue you! We’re going to shut the entire show down!’” Latt told The Hollywood Reporter. It doesn’t get much more presidential than that, does it?
Not a foam partyFlight attendants really hate it when you order Diet Coke. It takes forever to pour, because the lack of sugar creates way more foam than regular sodas. Pouring it over ice makes matters worse. “I’ve actually had nightmares about frantically trying to finish a never-ending Diet Coke beverage service before landing,” American Airlines flight attendant Heather Poole told the Huffington Post.
Cute enough to KISS?KISS frontman Gene Simmons tweeted “This is real, folks!!!” after seeing an image of a newborn calf with black-and-white facial markings similar to Simmons’ onstage persona. Genie the calf was born on a ranch near Kerrville, Texas, northwest of San Antonio. The ranchers say Genie is a family favorite and won’t be sold for slaughter.