The slap heard ‘round the world, Biden clarifies his Putin ad-lib, the WH’s new billionaire tax proposal
Plus: Must-reads on the myth that everyone hates their job, how propaganda became entertaining and TikTok dating coaches.
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First Things First
Actor Will Smith finally won an Academy Award for his portrayal of Richard Williams, Venus and Serena’s dad, in King Richard. Moments earlier, Smith walked from his front-row seat to the stage and slapped comedian Chris Rock for making a joke about his wife Jada Pinkett-Smith’s hair loss. “Keep my wife’s name out your fucking mouth,” Smith said to Rock after his returned to his seat in a scene that led to me staying up way too late on a school night. (Ehis Osifo / BuzzFeed)
Related: Lupita Nyong’o’s reaction was the universal mood:
President Joe Biden said on Sunday as he was leaving church that he was not calling for the replacement of Russian President Vladimir Putin through military force when went off script in Poland at the end of a speech the day before. The nine-word ad-lib — “For God’s sake, this man cannot remain in power” — overshadowed what will likely go down as a historic address on international policy and the role of global democracy against a rise in autocracy.
The White House today will release President Biden’s budget for the 2023 fiscal year. Among the proposals is a tax that would require American households worth more than $100 million pay at least 20 percent on their full income. (Zolan Kanno-Youngs / NYT)
White House Deputy Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre tested positive for COVID-19 after returning from Europe. Jean-Pierre last saw President Biden during a socially distanced meeting on Saturday and traveled in place of Press Secretary Jen Psaki, who tested positive for COVID ahead of the trip.
The US announced an additional $100 million in civilian security assistance for Ukraine. The State Department said the increased funding will provide personal protection equipment, field gear, tactical equipment, medical supplies, armored vehicles, and communication equipment for the Ukrainian State Border Guard Service and the National Police of Ukraine.
The Department of Health and Human Services released a letter encouraging service providers to low-income people with HIV mobilize their resources to provide access to gender-affirming care and treatment services for transgender and gender-diverse people within the community. This includes housing and behavioral and mental health services, as well as medical care and medication, which are fundamental in reducing health disparities and improving HIV-related outcomes among transgender people.
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In my latest subscriber exclusive, I wrote over the weekend about what state lawmakers think of the the anti-LGBTQ laws popping up in their legislatures:
President Biden this morning will receive his daily intelligence briefing with Vice President Kamala Harris. This afternoon, he will announce his budget for fiscal year 2023. Director of the Office of Management and Budget Shalanda Young will also speak.
Biden’s week ahead:
Tuesday: The president will host Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong of Singapore at the White House
Friday: Biden will speak on the March jobs report.
First Lady Jill Biden will travel to Keene, CA to speak at a US Citizenship and Immigration Services naturalization ceremony in observance of César Chávez Day. She will be joined by USCIS Director Ur M. Jaddou.
The House is in and will take votes this evening on five bills under suspension of the rules.
The Senate is in and will take a final vote on legislation to increase US competitiveness with China.
Read All About It
Allyson Chiu on melatonin:
The hormone, which is secreted by the brain’s pineal gland in the evening, serves as a signaling mechanism, said Bhanu Kolla, a professor of psychiatry and psychology, and a consultant at the Mayo Clinic’s Center for Sleep Medicine. “It starts telling the brain that it’s biological night” and time to sleep.
Sleep specialists often use low doses of melatonin, which is only available by prescription in many other countries, to help treat sleep timing problems, such as jet lag or shift work disorder. Depending on when it’s taken, small amounts can alter the timing of people’s internal clocks. In the case of jet lag, for example, the Mayo Clinic recommends taking melatonin in the morning if you fly west, and at night if you fly east to help your body adjust.
But although melatonin plays a key role in helping to regulate the daily cycle of sleep and wakefulness, taking it right before you want to fall asleep doesn’t typically have the immediate sleep-inducing effect many takers seem to assume it does.
Derek Thompson on the myth that everyone hates their job:
I can already hear various accounts screaming at me that I don’t understand the nature of Marxist false consciousness (these people do hate their jobs, they just don’t know it—yet!), or that I don’t grok the fact that most jobs inherently suck. So let me stress: I think that most jobs suck. I think I would be miserable doing just about anything other than writing professionally, eating professionally, or writing professionally about eating. I am shocked by these survey results. But these are the results, and the picture they paint is clear: Most Americans just don’t seem to hate their job as much as extremely online Americans seem to think they do.
Dexter Fergie on how American culture ate the world:
Today is not the 1950s. The efforts of the civil rights movement and the powers of globalization have worn away many of the midcentury obstacles to the flow of foreign culture. The racial-quota immigration regime finally fell in 1965, opening up American borders to foreign nationals everywhere and rearranging American demography: In 2018, the U.S. had 44 million immigrants, about four times as many as any other nation. Technology has assisted, as well. Jet travel made venturing abroad easier, while cell phones and the internet have—to use the clichéd language of Silicon Valley—brought the world to Americans’ fingertips.
But this turning of the spigot hasn’t entirely rebalanced cultural and informational flows. The American national security state, bulkier than ever, continues to exclude foreigners on ideological grounds. America’s culture industry has not stopped its mercantilist pursuits. And Web 2.0 has corralled a lot of the world’s online activities onto the platforms of a handful of American companies. America’s geopolitical preeminence may slip away in the not-so-distant future, but it’s not clear if Americans will change the channel.
Kathryn Cramer Brownell on how propaganda became entertaining:
An amateur technology, 16-mm film was cheaper and easier to use than 35-mm film, the Hollywood standard. During the final two years of the war, the Treasury Department urged exhibitors of 16-mm films to bring the wartime message—including the pitch to buy bonds—into “every nook and corner of the land.” The OWI also distributed manuals about how to integrate 16-mm films into civic events. In the process, civilians across the country learned how to operate cameras and develop publicity for events with premieres, advertising, and other Hollywood promotional strategies.
When the war came to an end, President Harry Truman celebrated Hollywood’s “outstanding wartime record” and praised motion pictures for becoming “one of the more effective and forceful media for spreading knowledge and truth.” With this newly recognized power came controversy, once again. Over the next decade, intense debates about the messages of Hollywood films and the political activities of those crafting silver-screen productions resulted in the infamous HUAC hearings.
But Hollywood—as an industry and as a style of communication—hardly retreated from politics.
Katie Glueck and Ashley Southall on how New York City Mayor Eric Adams’s tough-on-crime response to has people worried about a return to ‘90s-era policing:
After years of national Democratic efforts to distance themselves from ’90s-style tough-on-crime tactics, Mr. Adams is now pushing New York into a new era of more aggressive law enforcement, even with the city far safer than in earlier decades.
Mr. Adams and Gov. Kathy Hochul have launched plans to have police officers conduct more regular sweeps of the subway system, along with efforts to combat homelessness there. Earlier this month, the Police Department unveiled a revamped version of a police unit focused on getting guns off the street; earlier incarnations of the unit, which were associated with a disproportionate number of fatal shootings by the police, were disbanded.
The return of the unit, along with the renewed emphasis on quality-of-life crimes, was among the clearest signs yet of the Adams administration’s efforts to broaden the powers of law enforcement.
But some New York officials fear that the city is moving closer to the Giuliani era, which critics associate with discriminatory overpolicing.
Ade Onibada on TikTok dating coaches:
Kalinu isn’t clueless about the changing demographics, but she believes it further emphasizes the need for her service, which she hopes to soon expand into matchmaking.
She predicts the next wave of dating discourse for highly educated and financially independent women will be distinguishing between hypergamous dating and high-value dating, which shifts the focus from the measurable economic gains of a relationship to other qualitative virtues like emotional intelligence and generosity.
“Women will become wealthy, but they can also still date high-value men, even if they don't have more wealth than the woman,” she concluded.
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