Day: January 11, 2018

Pricier Power Lunches: How the New Tax Law May Impact Entertainment Expenses – Hollywood Reporter

Shephard says it’s not unusual for a Hollywood professional (especially talent reps like agents and managers) to rack up $10,000 to $20,000 in entertainment expenses in a year, with a dozen-person production or development company spending closer to $60,000.

“It may be that the lower tax rate will offset the loss of this deduction,” says business manager Rick Shephard, noting that the change, like much of the new law, is more likely to negatively affect individuals and small businesses in the entertainment industry.

An agent and a director meet for a meal at a Canon Drive hotspot to discuss a budding star’s potential role in an upcoming blockbuster. Such power lunches are business as usual in Hollywood — but now, thanks to the new federal tax law, whoever picks up the tab may pay much more than he or she used to.

Complicating matters, there’s currently no official draft of the tax code that incorporates the recent changes — leaving the experts flipping back and forth between the old rules and the new law.

The new law also ends the deduction for dues to social, athletic or sporting clubs — even if the membership is used primarily in furtherance of the taxpayer’s business. That means no deductions for Staples Center boxes or Soho House memberships. But industry experts say it’s unclear what the showbiz impact will be.

The goodwill or business gained from a star-studded party could well outweigh the tax hit, and studios might not see their bottom lines affected since the corporate tax rate is dropping from 35 percent to 21 percent.

Before Jan. 1, companies and individuals could deduct 50 percent of the eligible entertainment expenses that they racked up wining and dining current or potential business partners. But that deduction was eliminated in the plan signed by President Trump. (The Joint Committee on Taxation estimates the change will bring in $23.5 billion in tax revenue over the next decade.)

Project Veritas Video Confirms Years of Breitbart Tech Reporting on Twitter – Breitbart

I’m in Trust and Safety, I do all the policy work, safety policy. I do… I’m in a controversial team. I’m the team everyone says a lot about, yeah.

Here are just a few of the reports Breitbart News has published that Veritas has now confirmed,

Pranay Singh, a direct messaging engineer at Twitter who spoke on camera in Project Veritas’ latest report, revealed that conservative accounts are actually targeted en-masse using machine learning. When a Project Veritas journalist asked Singh how Twitter staff can tell if an account is a bot or a normal person, Singh replied,

It’s not hard to guess which “shitty people,” Hassan is referring to. Project Veritas’ in-depth reporting has confirmed suspicions and reports that Breitbart Tech has made for some time, the investigative journalism of the Project Veritas team can be watched in full below.

Just go to a random tweet, and just look at the followers. They’ll all be like, guns, God, ‘Merica, like, and with the American flag and, like, the cross… Like, who says that? Who talks like that? It’s for sure a bot.

3: Prominent Conservatives Are Targeted

According to the source, Twitter maintains a ‘whitelist’ of favored Twitter accounts and a ‘blacklist’ of unfavored accounts. Accounts on the whitelist are prioritized in search results, even if they’re not the most popular among users. Meanwhile, accounts on the blacklist have their posts hidden from both search results and other users’ timelines.

This was confirmed by the Twitter’s Policy Manager, Olinda Hassan, who said that the company was working on preventing certain Twitter users from appearing in users timelines:

Metro Atlanta Sam’s Club closes without notice; stores close across the country – WXIA-TV

Walmart also said it would offer financial help to full-time hourly and salaried employees who are seeking to adopt children.

Walmart’s wage increase will take effect in February. Walmart said the one-time bonuses would cost the company $400 million and will be based on length of service. Employees who have worked for at least 20 years will get the full $1,000.

The changes in parental leave put salaried and hourly workers on the same footing.

The Lithonia store is one of 63 closing around the country. reports that of those locations, about 50 will be going out of business for good. Some locations closed Thursday while the remainder will be shuttered over the next three to four weeks, a Walmart official said.

Walmart is also increasing its paid leave policy for new fathers and non-birthing mothers to six weeks at full pay for full-time hourly workers. Previously, the company didn’t offer any paid leave for them.

“Hourly associates will continue receiving compensation for 60 days while they look for other opportunities in nearby clubs or Walmart stores,” she said.

“How does a corporation close a store in a city that’s doing very well and they don’t even let employees know about it,” Mayor Jason Lary said.

“We don’t take this lightly and decisions like these are incredibly difficult,” Walmart spokesperson Amy Wyatt-Moore said about the closing of the Lithonia store. “This decision is based on a number of factors, including financial performance.”

Dan Harmon Gives ‘Full Account’ of Sexually Harassing Community Writer Megan Ganz – TIME


Dan Harmon Gives 'Full Account' of Sexually Harassing Community Writer Megan Ganz
Community creator Dan Harmon has issued a detailed apology for acting inappropriately toward former Community writer Megan Ganz following a recent Twitter dialogue between the two over his behavior. On the latest episode of his Harmontown podcast
Former Community writer Megan Ganz forgives Dan Harmon for sexual harassment after public (blog)
He harassed her. She called him out. He broadcast his apology. She accepted.Washington Post
Rick and Morty, Community Creator Dan Harmon Apologizes for Sexual HarassmentVanity Fair
The Verge -Vulture -VICE
all 28 news articles »

Report from New Orleans: Vikings’ greatest strength could be Saints’ greatest weakness – Minneapolis Star Tribune

Mitchell Trubisky didn’t stand a chance.

Plugging holes on the line is not a new issue for the Saints. Kelemete has played 60 percent of the snaps this season and performed as well as anyone else on the line. His teammates voiced confidence in his ability to handle the job this week. But this is the week you’d like to be at full strength, not the other way around.

“They bring a lot of guys up to the line of scrimmage, so it puts stress on the quarterback trying to decipher who is coming and who is not,” Saints offensive tackle Terron Armstead said. “Stress on the O-line passing off this person or that person. Schematically, they have some things that work to their advantage, and they have the personnel to execute it.”

This week will put the New Orleans’ depth on the offensive line to test. The team has cycled through players on the line all season due to injuries, and it hasn’t been an issue throughout the season, but the Vikings will put that to the test.

All this week we’ll be sharing coverage of the New Orleans Saints from The Advocate in Baton Rouge, La.. For their full reports on all things Saints, check out The Advocate website.

The guy standing outside of the defensive end stunted inside and attacked the “A” gap (between the guard and center). The guy in the other “A” gap drops into a zone. Five guys rush, and the protection surprisingly picks it up, with a running back picking the blitzer who stunted into the gap between the guard and center. But it’s not enough. Trubisky steps up in the pocket and is quickly sacked.

One of the things Minnesota likes to do is blitz the gaps between the guard and center. That could be an issue this week considering that New Orleans will be without starting left guard Andrus Peat, who landed on injured reserve after suffering a broken fibula against the Carolina Panthers, and will be starting Senio Kelemete in his place.

Elon Musk Says He Accidentally Attended a Silicon Valley ‘Sex Party.’ But He Didn’t See Any Sex – Fortune


Elon Musk Says He Accidentally Attended a Silicon Valley 'Sex Party.' But He Didn't See Any Sex
SpaceX CEO Elon Musk speaks at the International Astronautical Congress on Sept. 29, 2017 in Adelaide, Australia. —Getty Images. By Abigail Abrams. 6:21 PM EST. Even tech superstars sometimes get confused. It turns out Elon Musk unwittingly attended a
'Sex Party' or 'Nerds on a Couch'? A Night in Silicon ValleyWIRED
DFJ has apologized for the reported 'sex party' event at Steve Jurvetson's homeRecode
Elon Musk Says He Didn't Know the Sex Party He Went to Was a Sex PartyThe Cut
Dealbreaker -Axios -Vanity Fair
all 9 news articles »

Employers Want Workers to Help Colleagues in Crisis – Bloomberg

Employers Want Workers to Help Colleagues in Crisis

About 40 employers have trained more than 1,300 people over the last two years, according to the National Council for Behavioral Health, which first imported the program from Australia in 2008 and adapted it for Americans. This year, it plans to train

and more »

Challenge for US in Syria is bending Russia to its will – Senate hearing – RT

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Asked what kind of persuasion the US is using, Satterfield brought up US military power in the region and access to reconstruction funds for Syria, something he said Russia, Iran and the government in Damascus lack.

Senator Bob Menendez (D-New Jersey) noted that Russians are also a “foreign force” in Syria. Satterfield said the US is working to remove them through a “combination of measures,” including sanctions. Russia has a defense treaty with Damascus and its forces in Syria are there at the invitation of the government.

Moscow’s focus has been on “stabilization … putting an end to the chaos and violence” in Syria, Satterfield said. “The question is at what price, over the long term.”

For the first time, several other senators joined Tim Kaine (D-Virginia) in questioning the legal authority for the US presence in Syria, which was not sanctioned by the UN or the Syrian government. Fighting Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS/ISIL) could be shoehorned into the 2001 congressional authorization to fight terrorism, but what happens when IS is defeated? Satterfield said the terrorist group will remain a danger indefinitely, and the only way to make sure it doesn’t return is political change in Syria.

The State Department official sought to downplay Turkish fears of the US working with the Syrian Kurds, saying the political structures being established in the US-controlled part of Syria are “multiethnic, not Kurdish in an ethnonationalist sense.” The Kurds and Arabs gathered around the SDF are “a big swath of population, of assets – both hydrocarbon and agricultural – and they need to be part of a future of Syria,” Satterfield said.

Read more

After Senator Marco Rubio (R-Florida) complained about Russia’s growing influence in the Middle East, Satterfield explained that the US is still the biggest player in the region.

NFL looking into Raiders hiring process for head coach –

The Fritz Pollard Alliance is dedicated to promoting diversity and equality of job opportunity in the coaching, front office and scouting staffs of NFL teams.

Raiders general manager Reggie McKenzie said Tuesday he interviewed two minority candidates before Gruden’s hiring was announced. Those candidates were Oakland tight ends coach Bobby Johnson and USC offensive coordinator Tee Martin.

The Fritz Pollard Alliance is calling on the NFL to investigate whether the Oakland Raiders violated the “Rooney Rule” when they hired Jon Gruden as coach.

Fritz Pollard Alliance counsel Cyrus Mehri and N. Jeremi Duru issued a statement Wednesday expressing concern that Raiders owner Mark Davis came to an agreement with Gruden before the team interviewed any minority candidates.

The Raiders have made a mockery of the rule, so Roger Goodell must take a tougher stance.

The NFL has launched an investigation into the Oakland Raiders’ head coach hiring process and whether they violated the Rooney Rule, a league official told ’s Adam Schefter.

Davis said Tuesday after introducing Gruden as the team’s new coach that he believed Gruden was “all-in” to take the job during a meeting on Christmas Eve. Davis fired Jack Del Rio a week later and the team officially hired Gruden on Jan. 6.