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Westlake Legal Group > News Corporation (Page 9)

Angels’ Mike Trout to have season-ending foot surgery

Mike Trout‘s season is over.

The Los Angeles Angels say the eight-time All-Star will have surgery on his right foot this week because of Morton’s neuroma, a thickening of tissue around a nerve leading to toes that causes pain.

“I kind of knew when I first got my MRI a few weeks ago that I would probably need surgery at the end of the year to get it removed,” Trout said Sunday. “Just got worse. We tried everything. The training staff has been awesome. Some days it would feel good. Some days, once the thing cleared up, it was tough to walk.”

Trout was scheduled to fly with the team to New York on Sunday evening for a series with the Yankees that starts Tuesday. He is to return to Los Angeles on Thursday and have surgery later in the week.

“It just didn’t get better,” Trout said. “It’s been that way for a couple weeks. We tried injections, tried the cryoablation (cold fluid) — thought that would help. As soon as I went out there and started running, it flares up. After it clears up, in about 30-40 minutes it’s tough to walk on.”

Trout finished with a career-high 45 home runs, 104 RBIs and a .291 batting average, putting him in contention to win his third AL MVP award along with four second-place finishes. The 28-year-old outfielder had 110 walks, a .438 on-base percentage and 1.083 OPS in his first season after agreeing to a $426.5 million, 12-year contract, baseball’s largest deal by total and average salary.

“It’s my mindset coming in ever year, I want to be best player in the league,” Trout said. “Ever since I was a kid, that’s always been my mindset, just be the best. Thinking about being done when you have two weeks left, it sucks. I was having my best season.”

Asked whether he thought he would be able to play if the Angels were in playoff contention, Trout said: “Oh yeah, for sure. Obviously, if we were in a playoff race, we would try to be out there, even if DH-ing, or whatever I could do to help the team win.”

Trout last played on Sept. 7. He said Saturday he hoped to play in Sunday’s series finale against Tampa Bay as a designated hitter. He felt pain when running the bases Sunday morning.

Los Angeles already has been eliminated from postseason contention.

Trout has a .305 average in nine major league seasons with 285 homers, 752 RBIs and 200 stolen bases.

“I heard it’s a pretty easy rehab, like a four-week thing,” Trout said.

Westlake Legal Group MLB-Mike-Trout7 Angels' Mike Trout to have season-ending foot surgery fnc/sports fnc Associated Press article 4e078db3-bd4e-5f8d-9f00-bb230fdbe94d   Westlake Legal Group MLB-Mike-Trout7 Angels' Mike Trout to have season-ending foot surgery fnc/sports fnc Associated Press article 4e078db3-bd4e-5f8d-9f00-bb230fdbe94d

Real Estate, and Personal Injury Lawyers. Contact us at: https://westlakelegal.com 

Beto O’Rourke On Biden’s Age And Fitness: ‘Who The Hell Cares?’

Westlake Legal Group 5d7efbcf2400002e2a7b71db Beto O’Rourke On Biden’s Age And Fitness: ‘Who The Hell Cares?’

Democratic 2020 presidential candidate Beto O’Rourke is not interested in talking about former Vice President Joe Biden’s age, health or fitness for office. In fact, he says it’s the “last thing” he cares about.

Speaking on “Meet the Press” on Sunday, the former Texas congressman said there were far bigger issues at hand ― citing health care, immigration and climate change ― than the inner-party fight about Biden’s age and ability.

“No, I could care less about that to be honest with you,” O’Rourke said in response to a question about the ongoing debate surrounding Biden’s fitness. “I was listening to your opening package, and I mean, who the hell cares, right?”

Following the third Democratic debate last Thursday night, Sen. Cory Booker (D-N.J.) lobbed a fierce attack against 76-year-old Biden, questioning his ability to run for office. Former Housing Secretary Julián Castro also took aim at Biden on the debate stage, making a dig at his memory skills and asking if he’d already forgotten something he’d said “just two minutes ago.” 

Biden has made a series of gaffes on the campaign trail, prompting the debate amongst some Democratic candidates about his fitness. Despite the missteps, he has remained the frontrunner in polls and has pledged to release his medical records before the first votes are cast in the nomination race.

Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), who is older than Biden at 78, followed his lead and made the same pledge.

O’Rourke said he did not share the other candidates’ concerns, and would much rather focus on the “big things” that people in America care about.

Watch the interview below:

Real Estate, and Personal Injury Lawyers. Contact us at: https://westlakelegal.com 

Beto O’Rourke On Biden’s Age And Fitness: ‘Who The Hell Cares?’

Westlake Legal Group 5d7efbcf2400002e2a7b71db Beto O’Rourke On Biden’s Age And Fitness: ‘Who The Hell Cares?’

Democratic 2020 presidential candidate Beto O’Rourke is not interested in talking about former Vice President Joe Biden’s age, health or fitness for office. In fact, he says it’s the “last thing” he cares about.

Speaking on “Meet the Press” on Sunday, the former Texas congressman said there were far bigger issues at hand ― citing health care, immigration and climate change ― than the inner-party fight about Biden’s age and ability.

“No, I could care less about that to be honest with you,” O’Rourke said in response to a question about the ongoing debate surrounding Biden’s fitness. “I was listening to your opening package, and I mean, who the hell cares, right?”

Following the third Democratic debate last Thursday night, Sen. Cory Booker (D-N.J.) lobbed a fierce attack against 76-year-old Biden, questioning his ability to run for office. Former Housing Secretary Julián Castro also took aim at Biden on the debate stage, making a dig at his memory skills and asking if he’d already forgotten something he’d said “just two minutes ago.” 

Biden has made a series of gaffes on the campaign trail, prompting the debate amongst some Democratic candidates about his fitness. Despite the missteps, he has remained the frontrunner in polls and has pledged to release his medical records before the first votes are cast in the nomination race.

Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), who is older than Biden at 78, followed his lead and made the same pledge.

O’Rourke said he did not share the other candidates’ concerns, and would much rather focus on the “big things” that people in America care about.

Watch the interview below:

Real Estate, and Personal Injury Lawyers. Contact us at: https://westlakelegal.com 

Jason Chaffetz: Ballot harvesting — California’s model to steal 2020

Westlake Legal Group voting1 Jason Chaffetz: Ballot harvesting -- California's model to steal 2020 Jason Chaffetz fox-news/us/us-regions/west/california fox-news/politics/2020-presidential-election fox-news/opinion fox news fnc/opinion fnc b565d821-00da-5a2e-8787-f2469aef8651 article

The Heritage Foundation calls it the “tool of choice for vote thieves.” The convenient, innovative, and beloved mail-in ballot has been a source of contention due to its vulnerability to manipulation.

During the 2018 midterms, Democrats in California and a Republican consultant in North Carolina used a process called “ballot harvesting” to collect mail-in ballots for voters.

But there was a big difference between the two states, as I discuss in my new book, “Power Grab.” In North Carolina, ballot harvesting is illegal. Congress refused to seat the winner of the 2018 midterm election between Republican Mark Harris and Democrat Dan McCready and a special election was held this month to replace him. Though Republican Dan Bishop managed to win the heavily Republican district last week, the history of “cheating” by the previous candidate weighed heavily, making the race far closer than one might expect in a district with an R+8 partisan lean.

BALLOT HARVESTING BOUNTY: HOW DEMS APPARENTLY USED ELECTION LAW CHANGE TO ROUT CALIFORNIA REPUBLICANS

In California, by contrast, ballot harvesting was legalized by Democrats in the state legislature. They don’t consider it cheating in that state. It was used to flip seven Republican seats to the Democratic column in 2018.

Democrats have long dismissed claims that mail-in ballots are vulnerable to manipulation, pointing to what they call a dearth of voter fraud convictions. Nonetheless, they could hardly ignore the North Carolina race in which a Republican campaign operative illegally collecting ballots allegedly destroyed as many as a thousand ballots supporting the Democratic candidate.

CLICK HERE TO SIGN UP FOR OUR OPINION NEWSLETTER

More from Opinion

The process of ballot harvesting should be illegal for very good reason. It violates the chain of custody, exposing the ballot to potential manipulation by campaign operatives or nonprofit political groups. They could harass voters to turn in ballots, “assist” them in filling them out, and potentially “lose” ballots that don’t support the candidate the ballot harvester is paid to help.

The indication that ballot harvesting made the difference in California can be found in the vote proportions. Studies of absentee voters have consistently shown they tend to reflect the population or lean slightly to the right. But when ballot harvesting was deployed in California, we saw late ballots break heavily for Democrats.

Election security is more than Russian hackers trying to change votes. We must secure the chain of custody of ballots, validate the identity of the voter, and maintain updated voter lists. Thus far, Democrats have shown no interest in any of that.

Take, for example, the race between former Republican Rep. David Valadao and Democrat T. J. Cox in California’s rural 21st district. When polls closed, Valadao led Cox by 6,000 votes — or 8 percent. That margin was wide enough for media outlets to call the race for Valadao.

However, late ballots delivered by third-party groups broke so heavily for Cox that he ultimately eked out an 843-vote victory. The results after ballot harvesting were very different from the polling before the race and since. In a July 2019 NRCC survey, Cox was polling at just 36 percent, while 52 percent said they would support “a potential Republican challenger.” Valadao has since filed for a rematch.

The San Francisco Chronicle reported that elsewhere in the state, Orange County voters on election night 2018 were calling the registrar’s office asking if it was legitimate for someone to come to their door and ask if they could take their ballot.

Who was coming to the door? According to a January 2019 Los Angeles Times story, illegal Dreamers were deeply engaged in the process — not just delivering ballots, but helping voters fill them out.

The Times reports on the experience of one Dreamer, Gabriela Cruz, who “found” a voter smoking a cigarette on a tattered old couch behind a group home hours before election day. He politely tried to wave her off until she “reminded him” he had a right that she as an immigrant without citizenship didn’t have. Half an hour later, she was helping the voter lookup candidates as he filled out his ballot by the light of her phone.

What are the implications of activists with an agenda “helping” voters look up candidates and fill out ballots? How many of those activists are willing to turn in a ballot that doesn’t help their cause? Should we be exposing people’s ballots to that kind of temptation?

Election security is more than Russian hackers trying to change votes. We must secure the chain of custody of ballots, validate the identity of the voter, and maintain updated voter lists. Thus far, Democrats have shown no interest in any of that.

CLICK HERE TO GET THE FOX NEWS APP

Don’t be fooled by cries for the Senate to pass so-called “election security” measures coming from the House. These measures are designed to enforce less secure voting processes on local communities, including the very vulnerable mail-in ballot. They are not about election security. They are about election manipulation in 2020.

If we want to get serious about securing our elections, state and local lawmakers and election officials must crackdown on the practice of ballot harvesting. Otherwise, Democrats will use it to manipulate the results of the 2020 elections.

CLICK HERE TO READ MORE FROM JASON CHAFFETZ

Westlake Legal Group voting1 Jason Chaffetz: Ballot harvesting -- California's model to steal 2020 Jason Chaffetz fox-news/us/us-regions/west/california fox-news/politics/2020-presidential-election fox-news/opinion fox news fnc/opinion fnc b565d821-00da-5a2e-8787-f2469aef8651 article   Westlake Legal Group voting1 Jason Chaffetz: Ballot harvesting -- California's model to steal 2020 Jason Chaffetz fox-news/us/us-regions/west/california fox-news/politics/2020-presidential-election fox-news/opinion fox news fnc/opinion fnc b565d821-00da-5a2e-8787-f2469aef8651 article

Real Estate, and Personal Injury Lawyers. Contact us at: https://westlakelegal.com 

Jason Chaffetz: Ballot harvesting — California’s model to steal 2020

Westlake Legal Group voting1 Jason Chaffetz: Ballot harvesting -- California's model to steal 2020 Jason Chaffetz fox-news/us/us-regions/west/california fox-news/politics/2020-presidential-election fox-news/opinion fox news fnc/opinion fnc b565d821-00da-5a2e-8787-f2469aef8651 article

The Heritage Foundation calls it the “tool of choice for vote thieves.” The convenient, innovative, and beloved mail-in ballot has been a source of contention due to its vulnerability to manipulation.

During the 2018 midterms, Democrats in California and a Republican consultant in North Carolina used a process called “ballot harvesting” to collect mail-in ballots for voters.

But there was a big difference between the two states, as I discuss in my new book, “Power Grab.” In North Carolina, ballot harvesting is illegal. Congress refused to seat the winner of the 2018 midterm election between Republican Mark Harris and Democrat Dan McCready and a special election was held this month to replace him. Though Republican Dan Bishop managed to win the heavily Republican district last week, the history of “cheating” by the previous candidate weighed heavily, making the race far closer than one might expect in a district with an R+8 partisan lean.

BALLOT HARVESTING BOUNTY: HOW DEMS APPARENTLY USED ELECTION LAW CHANGE TO ROUT CALIFORNIA REPUBLICANS

In California, by contrast, ballot harvesting was legalized by Democrats in the state legislature. They don’t consider it cheating in that state. It was used to flip seven Republican seats to the Democratic column in 2018.

Democrats have long dismissed claims that mail-in ballots are vulnerable to manipulation, pointing to what they call a dearth of voter fraud convictions. Nonetheless, they could hardly ignore the North Carolina race in which a Republican campaign operative illegally collecting ballots allegedly destroyed as many as a thousand ballots supporting the Democratic candidate.

CLICK HERE TO SIGN UP FOR OUR OPINION NEWSLETTER

More from Opinion

The process of ballot harvesting should be illegal for very good reason. It violates the chain of custody, exposing the ballot to potential manipulation by campaign operatives or nonprofit political groups. They could harass voters to turn in ballots, “assist” them in filling them out, and potentially “lose” ballots that don’t support the candidate the ballot harvester is paid to help.

The indication that ballot harvesting made the difference in California can be found in the vote proportions. Studies of absentee voters have consistently shown they tend to reflect the population or lean slightly to the right. But when ballot harvesting was deployed in California, we saw late ballots break heavily for Democrats.

Election security is more than Russian hackers trying to change votes. We must secure the chain of custody of ballots, validate the identity of the voter, and maintain updated voter lists. Thus far, Democrats have shown no interest in any of that.

Take, for example, the race between former Republican Rep. David Valadao and Democrat T. J. Cox in California’s rural 21st district. When polls closed, Valadao led Cox by 6,000 votes — or 8 percent. That margin was wide enough for media outlets to call the race for Valadao.

However, late ballots delivered by third-party groups broke so heavily for Cox that he ultimately eked out an 843-vote victory. The results after ballot harvesting were very different from the polling before the race and since. In a July 2019 NRCC survey, Cox was polling at just 36 percent, while 52 percent said they would support “a potential Republican challenger.” Valadao has since filed for a rematch.

The San Francisco Chronicle reported that elsewhere in the state, Orange County voters on election night 2018 were calling the registrar’s office asking if it was legitimate for someone to come to their door and ask if they could take their ballot.

Who was coming to the door? According to a January 2019 Los Angeles Times story, illegal Dreamers were deeply engaged in the process — not just delivering ballots, but helping voters fill them out.

The Times reports on the experience of one Dreamer, Gabriela Cruz, who “found” a voter smoking a cigarette on a tattered old couch behind a group home hours before election day. He politely tried to wave her off until she “reminded him” he had a right that she as an immigrant without citizenship didn’t have. Half an hour later, she was helping the voter lookup candidates as he filled out his ballot by the light of her phone.

What are the implications of activists with an agenda “helping” voters look up candidates and fill out ballots? How many of those activists are willing to turn in a ballot that doesn’t help their cause? Should we be exposing people’s ballots to that kind of temptation?

Election security is more than Russian hackers trying to change votes. We must secure the chain of custody of ballots, validate the identity of the voter, and maintain updated voter lists. Thus far, Democrats have shown no interest in any of that.

CLICK HERE TO GET THE FOX NEWS APP

Don’t be fooled by cries for the Senate to pass so-called “election security” measures coming from the House. These measures are designed to enforce less secure voting processes on local communities, including the very vulnerable mail-in ballot. They are not about election security. They are about election manipulation in 2020.

If we want to get serious about securing our elections, state and local lawmakers and election officials must crackdown on the practice of ballot harvesting. Otherwise, Democrats will use it to manipulate the results of the 2020 elections.

CLICK HERE TO READ MORE FROM JASON CHAFFETZ

Westlake Legal Group voting1 Jason Chaffetz: Ballot harvesting -- California's model to steal 2020 Jason Chaffetz fox-news/us/us-regions/west/california fox-news/politics/2020-presidential-election fox-news/opinion fox news fnc/opinion fnc b565d821-00da-5a2e-8787-f2469aef8651 article   Westlake Legal Group voting1 Jason Chaffetz: Ballot harvesting -- California's model to steal 2020 Jason Chaffetz fox-news/us/us-regions/west/california fox-news/politics/2020-presidential-election fox-news/opinion fox news fnc/opinion fnc b565d821-00da-5a2e-8787-f2469aef8651 article

Real Estate, and Personal Injury Lawyers. Contact us at: https://westlakelegal.com 

NFL to meet with Antonio Brown accuser Monday

Westlake Legal Group brownmiami NFL to meet with Antonio Brown accuser Monday fox-news/sports/nfl/new-england-patriots fox-news/sports/nfl fox-news/person/antonio-brown fnc/sports fnc c483d9fd-47d5-52cb-9b64-996535c9cefa Associated Press article

The NFL plans to meet Monday with a woman who says she was raped by New England Patriots wide receiver Antonio Brown.

A person with direct knowledge of the situation confirmed the meeting to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the situation.

Britney Taylor accused Brown of rape and sexual assault in a federal lawsuit filed Tuesday in the Southern District of Florida. Brown has denied the allegations by his former trainer.

Taylor said Tuesday in a statement she will cooperate with the NFL and any other agencies.

Darren Heitner, a lawyer representing Brown, said Brown and Taylor had “a consensual personal relationship.” He told the AP on Tuesday his client plans to countersue.

The Boston Globe first reported the meeting.

Brown made a big splash in his Patriots debut Sunday, catching a 20-yard touchdown pass from Tom Brady in a 43-0 victory at Miami. He led the team with 56 yards on four receptions, all in the first half.

“Good to have him out there,” coach Bill Belichick said.

New England activated the four-time All-Pro receiver after he wasn’t placed on the commissioner’s exempt list. No criminal charges have been filed and the NFL hasn’t fully developed its investigation, so Brown was able to play for the Patriots, who acquired him after he requested and got his release from Oakland.

Players on the exempt list can’t play in games or practice with a team but are still paid. A player can be placed on the exempt list at any point.

Teammates praised Brown’s debut, and said he quickly began to grasp the offense.

“He worked hard all week trying to learn as much as possible,” running back James White said. “It’s not easy walking in and trying to learn in three days of practice. He took to coaching and went out there and played hard.”

With Brown joining Josh Gordon and Super Bowl MVP Julian Edelman, the Patriots have one of the league’s most talented receiver corps.

“I don’t think any of us had any doubts about AB’s skill set,” Gordon said. “It’s good everybody sees it. He continues to be what we expect him to be, and that’s a great wide receiver and good football player. For us that’s a tremendous asset and takes a huge stress off the offensive linemen and the running backs. There’s no way you can pinpoint one facet of our offense to try to shut us down. He’s a huge help. We’re glad to have him.”

Brown caught every pass his way in the first half. Brady threw to him four more times in the second half, but each pass fell incomplete.

“We’re making progress,” Belichick said. “We’re certainly not there yet.”

Belichick declined to discuss the decision to activate Brown.

The AP does not typically identify people who say they are victims of sexual assault unless they come forward publicly. Taylor was identified in the federal lawsuit and was quoted in a statement provided by her lawyer, David Haas.

“As a rape victim of Antonio Brown, deciding to speak out has been an incredibly difficult decision,” Taylor said. “I have found strength in my faith, my family, and from the accounts of other survivors of sexual assault. Speaking out removes the shame that I have felt for the past year and places it on the person responsible for my rape.”

Westlake Legal Group brownmiami NFL to meet with Antonio Brown accuser Monday fox-news/sports/nfl/new-england-patriots fox-news/sports/nfl fox-news/person/antonio-brown fnc/sports fnc c483d9fd-47d5-52cb-9b64-996535c9cefa Associated Press article   Westlake Legal Group brownmiami NFL to meet with Antonio Brown accuser Monday fox-news/sports/nfl/new-england-patriots fox-news/sports/nfl fox-news/person/antonio-brown fnc/sports fnc c483d9fd-47d5-52cb-9b64-996535c9cefa Associated Press article

Real Estate, and Personal Injury Lawyers. Contact us at: https://westlakelegal.com 

‘Joker’ Sends In The Clown But Doesn’t Know What To Say About Him

Arthur Fleck takes seven psych meds. He laughs uncontrollably, a piercing cackle that ascends to the heavens (or descends to hell). When he dances, it’s with his gangly arms outstretched and his torso hunched in a manic daze. He has an affinity for clown makeup and a co-dependent relationship with his frail mother. He wants to be a stand-up comedian but doesn’t understand jokes. When people aren’t ignoring him, they’re pulverizing him. His stunted development is punished by a world that doesn’t sympathize with mental illness. Arthur Fleck wants to die.

But then a friend gives him a gun — it’s Gotham City (aka New York City) in 1981, when crime and chaos are relentless; gotta protect yourself out there — and suddenly Arthur springs to life in a way he hasn’t before. His ensuing transgressions make the evening news, and Arthur feels seen. He rebrands himself The Joker, becoming a hero to heathens who’d rather light the streets on fire than seek peace. 

Westlake Legal Group 5d7bfed82300005805530546 ‘Joker’ Sends In The Clown But Doesn’t Know What To Say About Him

Warner Bros. Joaquin Phoenix in “Joker.”

Arthur is a movie character, but he could very well be somebody who appears on the actual evening news, one of the many mass shooters or riotous incels who have exposed America’s vile ethos. He is burdened, scorned, moonstruck. It’s for this reason that “Joker,” an origin story about the most famous villain from the “Batman” canon, is convinced of its own importance, even if its director, Todd Phillips (“The Hangover”), insists it is “not a political film.” 

Here’s the thing (oh boy, there are so many things): The Joker did not need an origin story. Most villains don’t. Michael Myers is terrifying because the original “Halloween” offers little insight about what prompts his killing spree; Darth Vader was superior before his dark night of the soul resulted in vicious lava burns. And The Joker, so effectively ghoulish when portrayed as deranged anarchists by Jack Nicholson (“Batman”) and Heath Ledger (“The Dark Knight”), is more convincing without all the mama drama. 

Westlake Legal Group 5d7c0098230000e903530662 ‘Joker’ Sends In The Clown But Doesn’t Know What To Say About Him

Warner Bros. Joaquin Phoenix in “Joker.”

When we first meet Arthur (a gaunt Joaquin Phoenix), he is seated at a vanity mirror applying white pancake makeup. It’s his job. He performs circus-clown routines at children’s hospitals and waves “Everything Must Go!” signs outside doomed businesses. When he appears without greasepaint, the contrast is stark. Talking to a state-assigned counselor (Sharon Washington) who asks stock questions about his well-being, Arthur is pale and skeletal, his face lined with gloominess. “The worst part about having a mental illness is people expect you to behave as if you don’t,” his journal reads.

An introduction this empathetic hints at a complex psychodrama that never arrives. Phillips, who co-wrote the script with Scott Silver (“8 Mile”), demonstrates necessary compassion and a grim stylistic verve ― part horror movie, part domestic ballad. That line about mental illness turns devastating when Arthur’s quasi-therapy appointments are terminated due to lack of funding. When a lonely man haunted by anguish loses his only semblance of support, where can he turn? But that’s also when the film squanders whatever it hopes to say about encroaching villainy, lost amid a jumble of Man Goes Insane clichés. 

Does anyone want movies based on comic books to be this humorless? That’s not a rhetorical question. I guess certain DC Comics fanatics will say a gritty screed is exactly what they want. But “Joker” has a hollow core, presenting Arthur as protagonist-turned-antihero without much nuance to guide the evolution. He greets his demons in the darkest of ways, discovering himself in the process. That discovery, an inferno of violence, results in an alarmingly celebratory image: The Joker, surrounded by disciples worshiping at the feet of their new god to a crescendoing score composed by Hildur Guðnadóttir (“Chernobyl”).  

Westlake Legal Group 5d7c00fe240000122779a872 ‘Joker’ Sends In The Clown But Doesn’t Know What To Say About Him

Warner Bros. Joaquin Phoenix in “Joker.”

“Joker,” which I caught last week at the Toronto International Film Festival, isn’t bad, per se. Defying the formula that makes most comic-book adaptations feel the same, much of it is accomplished. It oozes style, taking cues from “Taxi Driver,” “The King of Comedy” and “Shutter Island.” (Martin Scorese is a producer.) In a particularly engaging sequence, The Joker prances down a long outdoor staircase, his maroon and yellow suit gleaming against a bleak gray sky.

But often that style is outweighed by muddled subtext. Even after Arthur becomes a bonafide killer, nothing is all that scary, which makes the film disturbing in a manner Phillips probably didn’t intend. When Arthur stabs a guy in the neck, Gary Glitter’s “Rock and Roll” — a pumped-up anthem commonly heard at sporting events — thunders in response. When he suffocates someone, a lens flare erupts across the screen, as if to bathe him in warm sunlight. Is that what these murders are meant to convey? Some sort of existential breakthrough?

Much will be made of Phoenix’s performance, which had already yielded Oscar buzz. His body is bony to the point of looking sickly. His shoulder blades jut out at disturbing angles. His stomach is too concave for comfort. Frankly, it’s a lot. Screen actors tend to think that weight fluctuations equal transcendence, but that’s rarely the case. Phoenix is fascinating to watch, yet he relies on lunacy tropes that are fairly obvious. Having seen this character so many times now, including as recently as 2016’s dreadful “Suicide Squad” (in which he was played by Jared Leto), it’s clear how few dimensions of The Joker are left to explore. The supporting players — Robert De Niro, Zazie Beetz, Frances Conroy, Brett Cullen, Brian Tyree Henry, Marc Maron — can only add so much weight. A misguided rendition of Stephen Sondheim’s “Send in the Clowns” adds even less.

In giving Arthur Fleck a de facto hero’s journey, “Joker” must survive the litmus test that is modern cultural discourse. The movie, a guaranteed box-office powerhouse, will anger some people and excite others. Some have already called it dangerous, worried that juvenile admirers will see Arthur Fleck’s metamorphosis as a call to arms at a time when shootings are rampant in America. The suggestion seems overblown to me, but that doesn’t mean it’s not a complicated thing to reckon with.

What we’re left with is something that’s tamer than its fiercest detractors will declare and more sinister than its loudest groupies can grasp. It is, in the end, a whole lot of nothing. But in mainstream Hollywood today, nothingness sells. 

“Joker” opens in theaters Oct. 4.

Real Estate, and Personal Injury Lawyers. Contact us at: https://westlakelegal.com 

NFL to meet with Antonio Brown accuser Monday

Westlake Legal Group brownmiami NFL to meet with Antonio Brown accuser Monday fox-news/sports/nfl/new-england-patriots fox-news/sports/nfl fox-news/person/antonio-brown fnc/sports fnc c483d9fd-47d5-52cb-9b64-996535c9cefa Associated Press article

The NFL plans to meet Monday with a woman who says she was raped by New England Patriots wide receiver Antonio Brown.

A person with direct knowledge of the situation confirmed the meeting to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the situation.

Britney Taylor accused Brown of rape and sexual assault in a federal lawsuit filed Tuesday in the Southern District of Florida. Brown has denied the allegations by his former trainer.

Taylor said Tuesday in a statement she will cooperate with the NFL and any other agencies.

Darren Heitner, a lawyer representing Brown, said Brown and Taylor had “a consensual personal relationship.” He told the AP on Tuesday his client plans to countersue.

The Boston Globe first reported the meeting.

Brown made a big splash in his Patriots debut Sunday, catching a 20-yard touchdown pass from Tom Brady in a 43-0 victory at Miami. He led the team with 56 yards on four receptions, all in the first half.

“Good to have him out there,” coach Bill Belichick said.

New England activated the four-time All-Pro receiver after he wasn’t placed on the commissioner’s exempt list. No criminal charges have been filed and the NFL hasn’t fully developed its investigation, so Brown was able to play for the Patriots, who acquired him after he requested and got his release from Oakland.

Players on the exempt list can’t play in games or practice with a team but are still paid. A player can be placed on the exempt list at any point.

Teammates praised Brown’s debut, and said he quickly began to grasp the offense.

“He worked hard all week trying to learn as much as possible,” running back James White said. “It’s not easy walking in and trying to learn in three days of practice. He took to coaching and went out there and played hard.”

With Brown joining Josh Gordon and Super Bowl MVP Julian Edelman, the Patriots have one of the league’s most talented receiver corps.

“I don’t think any of us had any doubts about AB’s skill set,” Gordon said. “It’s good everybody sees it. He continues to be what we expect him to be, and that’s a great wide receiver and good football player. For us that’s a tremendous asset and takes a huge stress off the offensive linemen and the running backs. There’s no way you can pinpoint one facet of our offense to try to shut us down. He’s a huge help. We’re glad to have him.”

Brown caught every pass his way in the first half. Brady threw to him four more times in the second half, but each pass fell incomplete.

“We’re making progress,” Belichick said. “We’re certainly not there yet.”

Belichick declined to discuss the decision to activate Brown.

The AP does not typically identify people who say they are victims of sexual assault unless they come forward publicly. Taylor was identified in the federal lawsuit and was quoted in a statement provided by her lawyer, David Haas.

“As a rape victim of Antonio Brown, deciding to speak out has been an incredibly difficult decision,” Taylor said. “I have found strength in my faith, my family, and from the accounts of other survivors of sexual assault. Speaking out removes the shame that I have felt for the past year and places it on the person responsible for my rape.”

Westlake Legal Group brownmiami NFL to meet with Antonio Brown accuser Monday fox-news/sports/nfl/new-england-patriots fox-news/sports/nfl fox-news/person/antonio-brown fnc/sports fnc c483d9fd-47d5-52cb-9b64-996535c9cefa Associated Press article   Westlake Legal Group brownmiami NFL to meet with Antonio Brown accuser Monday fox-news/sports/nfl/new-england-patriots fox-news/sports/nfl fox-news/person/antonio-brown fnc/sports fnc c483d9fd-47d5-52cb-9b64-996535c9cefa Associated Press article

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Popovich defends team, US beats Poland for 7th at World Cup

Their final game at the World Cup had been over for several minutes, and every member of the U.S. team and coaching staff were still lingering together on the court.

They were ready to go home.

They just weren’t ready to go their separate ways.

For USA Basketball, summer ended Saturday with an 87-74 win over Poland in the seventh-place game at the World Cup, the lowest finish ever by a U.S. team in a major international tournament. Donovan Mitchell finished with 16 points and 10 assists, Joe Harris scored 14 and the U.S. wrapped up its stay in China with a 6-2 record.

And when it was over, as his players signed each other’s jerseys in the locker room as souvenirs, U.S. coach Gregg Popovich insisted this team has nothing to be ashamed about.

“If you don’t win, some people will play the blame game,” Popovich said. “There’s no blame to be placed anywhere. They play the shame game, like we should be ashamed because we didn’t win a gold medal? That’s a ridiculous attitude. It’s immature. It’s arrogant. And it shows that whoever thinks that doesn’t respect all the other teams in the world and doesn’t respect that these guys did the best they could.”

Khris Middleton had 13 points, six rebounds and six assists for the Americans. Derrick White scored 12 and Harrison Barnes added 10 for the U.S., which led by 17 at the half but had to stave off a Poland rally in the final minutes.

The mantra the Americans carried into Saturday was to finish the trip the right way, and they got it done.

“I’m going to look back on it and have unbelievable memories,” Harris said. “These are friendships that are very unique, where we’ve formed a special bond going through what we just did together. … Some of these guys who I might not have had a chance to know otherwise are now some of my closest friends. It’s unique in that way.”

There was little to play for except pride — and the Americans were playing with the realization that for some of them, it easily could be their last time wearing the red, white and blue uniforms with “USA” across the chest. The roster for the U.S. trip to the Tokyo Olympics next summer is likely to look considerably different than this one.

“For me, this is an amazing experience,” Mitchell said. “Everybody likes to look at the end goal, but when you sit back and reflect, I played on Team USA. That’s incredible for me. I think that in itself is amazing. So yes, it was definitely worth it.”

Poland coach Mike Taylor also found the World Cup most worthwhile — especially Saturday.

He’s an American, lives in Florida, is proud of how far he’s taken Poland’s program, knows many of the words to the Polish national anthem — but mouthed along with the words to “The Star-Spangled Banner” when it played pregame.

“I’ve been coaching with national teams, four years with the Czech Republic and now six years with Poland,” Taylor said, his voice cracking slightly. “That’s a lot of anthems you’ve heard. And I never imagined in my life that I would hear the United States. It means a lot and it’s not something you take for granted.”

Mateusz Ponitka scored 18 points, Adam Waczynski had 17 and Louisville-born A.J. Slaughter finished with 15 for Poland (4-4), which was in the World Cup for the first time since 1967.

“You look down at the U.S. bench, you see one of the greatest coaches ever in Coach Pop, you see Steve Kerr, you see all those guys and you can’t believe it,” Slaughter said. “It was a lasting moment that I’ll have for the rest of my life.”

Popovich said it’s too early to think about what USA Basketball needs to do before getting ready for the Tokyo Games. But he warned — just as two-time gold medalist Kobe Bryant did on Friday — that the days of American romps to gold are done.

“There are a lot of great teams in the world,” Popovich said. “It’s not written in stone that the United States is supposed to walk to a championship. That’s pretty old-school thinking. Even the teams that have won in the past had a lot of close calls.”

When it’s time for that Tokyo team to get assembled, Mitchell made it clear that he wants to be part of the squad.

“I think I have to wait for them to ask,” Mitchell said. “But I want to be there.”

TIP-INS

U.S.: Kemba Walker (neck) didn’t play, joining Boston Celtics teammates Jayson Tatum (left ankle) and Marcus Smart (left hand) on the U.S. injured list. White started in Walker’s place at point guard. … Timing is everything — the 6-2 record for the U.S. here was better than silver-medalist Serbia (5-4) and bronze-medalist France (6-3) at the last World Cup. But losing in the quarterfinals doomed the U.S. medal hopes.

Poland: The team had three players who played at the Division I level — Slaughter was a four-year player at Western Kentucky, guard Karol Gruszecki spent two years at Texas-Arlington and center Dominik Olejniczak started his career at Drake, then played two seasons at Ole Miss and will play this year at Florida State as a graduate transfer. … Poland started 4-0 in China, then dropped its last four games.

SERBIA FIFTH

Serbia rallied from a nine-point halftime deficit to beat the Czech Republic 90-81 for fifth place Saturday. Bogdan Bogdanovic scored 31 for Serbia, and Nikola Jokic finished with seven points, 14 rebounds and seven assists. Patrick Auda scored 16 for the Czechs.

UP NEXT

U.S.: Has qualified for 2020 Tokyo Olympics.

Poland: Will participate in qualifying for 2020 Tokyo Olympics next year.

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New York Times Kavanaugh ‘bombshell’ appears to begin imploding; Auto workers go on strike against GM

Good morning and welcome to Fox News First. Here’s what you need to know as you start your Monday and the new work week …

New York Times updates Kavanaugh ‘bombshell’ to note accuser doesn’t recall alleged assault 
The New York Times suddenly made a major revision to its story late Sunday concerning a resurfaced allegation of sexual assault by Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh, hours after virtually all 2020 Democratic presidential candidates had cited the original article as a reason to impeach Kavanaugh. The update included the significant detail that several friends of the alleged victim said she did not recall the supposed sexual assault in question at all. The Times also stated for the first time that the alleged victim refused to be interviewed, and has made no comment about the episode.

The only first-hand statement concerning the supposed attack in the original piece came from a Clinton-connected lawyer who claimed to have witnessed it. The Times’ revision says: “Editors’ Note: An earlier version of this article, which was adapted from a forthcoming book, did not include one element of the book’s account regarding an assertion by a Yale classmate that friends of Brett Kavanaugh pushed his penis into the hand of a female student at a drunken dorm party. The book reports that the female student declined to be interviewed and friends say that she does not recall the incident. That information has been added to the article.”

The update came only after the Federalist’s Mollie Hemingway, who reviewed an advance copy of the book, first flagged the omission on Twitter. Click here to read more about our top story.

More than 49,000 auto workers go on strike against GM
The United Auto Workers went on a nationwide strike against General Motors on Sunday night after contract talks broke off Sunday. It is the first strike against GM in 12 years. Talks will resume Monday morning. Union officials say both sides are far apart in the talks, while GM says it has made significant offers. UAW represents workers at 33 manufacturing sites and 22 parts warehouses across the country.

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Trump: US ‘locked and loaded’ against attackers of Saudi oil facility ‘depending on verification’; Iran denies involvement
President Trump on Sunday suggested U.S. investigators had “reason to believe” they knew who launched crippling attacks against a key Saudi oil facility, and vowed that America was “locked and loaded depending on verification.” While he did not specify in his tweet who he believed was responsible for Saturday’s drone attacks, U.S. investigators previously have pointed the finger at Iran. For its part, Iran has denied the allegations. Earlier Sunday, Trump authorized the use of emergency oil reserves in Texas and other states after Saudi oil processing facilities were attacked, sparking fears of a spike in oil prices when markets reopen Monday.

Westlake Legal Group ORourke-Buttigieg_AP New York Times Kavanaugh 'bombshell' appears to begin imploding; Auto workers go on strike against GM fox-news/columns/fox-news-first fox news fnc/us fnc article 2c4a0584-440a-51b1-989a-e86fcf0867d1

Beto hits Buttigieg, Dems with expletive-driven defense of debate comments on gun confiscation
Beto O’Rourke on Sunday launched an expletive-fueled defense of his call to ban assault-style weapons and impose mandatory buybacks of AR-15s and AK-47s while also pushing back at critics — including fellow 2020 Democrat Pete Buttigieg. During last Thursday’s presidential debate, the former Texas congressman said, “Hell yes, we’re going to take your AR-15, your AK-47, and we’re not going to allow it to be used against your fellow Americans anymore.”

Buttigieg, the mayor of South Bend, Indiana, appeared on CNN’s “State of the Union” on Sunday and agreed with Sen. Chris Coons, D-Del., saying the clip of O’Rourke’s statement about AR-15s and AK-47s “will be played for years at Second Amendment rallies with organizations that try to scare people by saying Democrats are coming for your guns.”

Buttigieg went on to say, “When even this president and even [Senate Majority Leader] Mitch McConnell are at least are pretending to be open to reforms, we know that we have a moment on our hand. Let’s make the most of it and get these things done.” O’Rourke pushed back, tweeting, “When candidates say, ‘At least Donald Trump and Mitch McConnell are pretending to be interested,’ sh–, that is not enough. Neither is poll-testing your message. Gun violence is a life or death issue—and we have to represent the bold ideas of people all over the country.”

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Lori Loughlin appears in court in Boston in September 2019 about the college admissions scandal. At right, Felicity Huffman leaves her sentencing in the college admissions scam case, dubbed “Operation Varsity Blues.” Huffman will serve 14 days in federal prison following a plea agreement, while Loughlin pleaded not guilty and awaits a trial. (Getty)

Lori Loughlin ‘aware’ of Huffman’s sentence, regrets rejecting plea deal: report
Lori Loughlin may have second thoughts about pleading not guilty in the college admissions scandal following Felicity Huffman’s 14-day sentence. A source close to Loughlin told People that the former “Fuller House” star was “aware of Felicity’s sentence and is processing what that means for her.” Huffman, 56, was sentenced to 14 days behind bars after she pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit mail fraud and honest services mail fraud in May. Click here to read more.

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TODAY’S MUST-READS
Purdue Pharma files for bankruptcy as part of settlement.
Tropical Storm Humberto becomes a hurricane.
Ric Ocasek, lead singer of The Cars, found dead in NYC apartment, police say.

MINDING YOUR BUSINESS
Stocks point lower as oil surges on Saudi facility attack.
ICYMI: Travel agent cheated his way to 42M Delta frequent flyer points, feds say.
Here are the top most diverse public universities in the US.

#TheFlashback: CLICK HERE to find out what happened on “This Day in History.”

SOME PARTING WORDS

Kellyanne Conway, counselor to President Trump, told “Fox News Sunday” that Democrats need to “get to a messaging meeting” and “stop the nonsense of harassing and embarrassing this president and the people around him when you’ve had no constitution or legal basis to do so.”

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Click here to find out what’s on Fox News today.

Fox News First is compiled by Fox News’ Bryan Robinson. Thank you for joining us! Enjoy your day! We’ll see you in your inbox first thing on Tuesday morning.

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