Ashlie D. Stevens

Watch George Conway realize Trump is a malignant narcissist

During the opening night of the Democratic National Convention, former first lady Michelle Obama characterized Donald Trump's administration as being marred by "chaos, division, and a total and utter lack of empathy," which, she said, are just some of the major reasons he is unfit to serve.

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How the religious right's purity culture enables predatory behavior

The last year has found former Liberty University president Jerry Falwell Jr. tumbling into one scandal after another, before finally officially plummeting from grace this week.  It began last year when, as Politico reported, former Trump attorney Michael Cohen helped "clean up racy 'personal' photographs" of Falwell's wife, Becki, including one of her in a French maid costume, which he had allegedly sent to a number of employees at his evangelical university.

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Salacious details and cover-ups make for good television -- but it goes against everything evangelicals preach

There's always a kind of collective schadenfreude to be experienced when someone's seemingly holy (or "holier than thou") persona is dismantled, revealing a pattern of inconceivable hypocrisy. Yes, we all fall short of the glory of God, but there's something especially insidious about profanity being concealed by a sacred smokescreen — or in the case of megachurch pastors and evangelical college administrators, hidden behind the vapor of the smoke machines that augment bouncy, electric guitar-scored worship services.

The visceral reaction such revelations inspire made for a compelling dramatic backbone for "The Righteous Gemstones," a Danny McBride-led HBO satire series that debuted in August 2019. It's also what makes  Liberty University President Jerry Fallwell Jr.'s current tumble from grace feel more worthy of notice  —and, honestly, more salacious — than your typical ousting of a university leader.

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Here's how I'm keeping occupied (and positive!) during self-isolation in an already disastrous 2020

As 80's babies, we dreamt of 2020 being "Jetsons"-like –– with flying cars, cheap robot butlers and maids, and fully established societies on multiple planets. None of those things really happened, but still, the year 2020 felt like it would gift us this unimaginable jolt of positive energy.

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Here are five delicious meals you can make with what's in your pantry

Whether you're trapped inside due to inclement weather, taking an extended sick day at home, rent week is upon you, or it's just finally time to clear out your kitchen of unused items, here are five flavorful dishes that make the most of pantry and freezer essentials.

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Jared Kushner's tenants are 'Davids going up against Goliath' in Netflix's 'Dirty Money'

In the "Slumlord Millionaire" episode of Netflix's second season of "Dirty Money" — a series of "untold stories of scandal, financial malfeasance, and corruption" from executive producer Alex Gibney — Jared Kushner's shady business dealings are brought to light.

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The rise of veganism in the mainstream — from Impossible Burger to the Oscars

In early January, the Academy of Motion Pictures announced that plant-based food would be on the menu at this year's Academy Awards Ceremony on Feb. 9th. This announcement came after the Golden Globes and Screen Actors Guild awards dinners both switched to vegan menus (prompted, at least in part, by vegan "Joker" star Joaquin Phoenix's suggestion they do so), but before Google searches for "vegan Super Bowl snacks" increased by nearly 133% compared to last year.

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Trekkers are raising money to help fellow fans stream 'Star Trek: Picard'

Two summers ago, as I sat in a stuffy hotel conference room in Indianapolis, I began to consider the generosity of Star Trek enthusiasts. I was attending the Qep'a', the Klingon Language Institute's annual conference, falling desperately behind in the session meant to introduce newcomers to the language of the bumpy-headed warriors of the Star Trek universe.

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'It's such a paradox': Author explains why Trump supporters fall for the president's 'unvarnished, unscripted' persona — even as he feeds them lies

"Any imbecile might decide on a certain Monday to become a captain, and by Tuesday, with no qualifications whatsoever, that imbecile could take charge of a 300,000-ton vessel and the thousands of lives contained within." This statement, one that is so reflective of this time in American history, is made in the opening pages of "The Captain and the Glory," a new book by author Dave Eggers.

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Only one actor of color was nominated for an Oscar in 2020

With just one person of color nominated across four acting categories, the Academy came incredibly close to bringing back the buzzy #OscarsSoWhite when then 2020 Oscar nominations were announced Monday morning.

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Here are 7 must-read novels to kick off 2020 right

The new year brings so many tantalizing possibilities, including a resolution to read more – whether it's to fulfill a shiny new book challenge for 2020 or just fill your brain with something more nourishing than the noise from the depressing news cycle and social media. This is a chance to make a new author discovery, enjoy the next bestseller, or even possibly change your life. It's a new decade; bring on the books!

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In Netflix’s compelling 'Don't F**k with Cats,' cat lovers unite to capture an online murderer

There is an unquestioned tenet that’s integral to spending time on the internet, a sort of “rule zero” — don’t f**k with cats. This is the rule that sparks the enthralling, twisted investigation that is the center of Netflix’s new limited docuseries, aptly titled “Don't F**k With Cats: Hunting an Internet Killer.”

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Netflix's 'Bikram: Yogi, Guru, Predator' separates the man from the myth -- revealing a monster

Midway through teacher training with the revered — and self-proclaimed — hot yoga guru Bikram Choudhury, student Sarah Baughn was pulled into Choudhury’s office where he asked her what they were going to do about their relationship. The two weren’t emotionally or sexually involved, but Choudhury kept pressing Baughn about what he perceived to be their connection; later that day in class, in front of an entire room of students, he placed her in standing bow pose. Choudhury pulled on her leg, which was extended above her head, and pushed her heart towards the floor.

Then, while Baughn was in this incredibly vulnerable position, Choudhury pushed his hips into her, continuing to whisper into her ear about how they would navigate their relationship.

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Netflix's 'The Devil Next Door' is a chilling examination of the fear of Nazis among us

In the new Netflix docu-series “The Devil Next Door,” a lot of time is spent airing increasingly technical, exhaustive evidence: time-lapse photograph comparisons, long-archived witness statements, scraps of documents found in the Office of Special Investigations’ dumpster. Through this, the series tries — and sometimes succeeds — to raise big-picture questions tied to seemingly universal fears.

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A president who thinks he's above the law got a taste of his own medicine with 'Lock him up!' chants

All I could think of when watching President Donald Trump’s Sunday appearance at Game 5 of the World Series was his August rally in Cincinnati Ohio. 

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'Mueller Report' graphic novel sneak preview from New Yorker cartoonist Shannon Wheeler

In March, Special Counsel Robert Mueller submitted the “Report on the Investigation into Russian Interference in the 2016 Presidential Election” to Attorney General William Barr. There had been a tremendous amount of speculation about its contents and what it would reveal about President Donald Trump and his relationship with the Russian government. The 448-page document, which became known as the Mueller Report, was released to the public about a month later.

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Watch for FREE: HBO’s comedy special 'The Great Depresh' is a painfully funny look at mental health

Twenty years ago, “The Sopranos” introduced us to mobster Tony Soprano and his psychiatrist, Dr. Jennifer Melfi. He’s having panic attacks that sometimes render him unconscious due to the innate stress of his job; Dr. Melfi tries her best to counsel him within the bounds of hers.

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Former NBC staffer accuses disgraced former 'Today' anchor Matt Lauer of rape

An upcoming book from the journalist Ronan Farrow reveals that Matt Lauer, the disgraced former anchor of NBC’s “Today” show, allegedly raped a colleague during the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia.

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Maybe Gilead can't hold: Lessons from Margaret Atwood's 'Handmaid's Tale' sequel 'The Testaments'

Some of the most important — and simultaneously most depressing — lines of praise about Margaret Atwood’s influential dystopian novel “The Handmaid’s Tale” center on the speculative narrative's prescience. Its inherent messages about bodily autonomy, gender roles and rebellion against a hierarchical system are just as pressing today as they were 35 years ago when it was first published.

This is what can make the Hulu TV adaption, starring Elisabeth Moss, so difficult to watch. As Salon’s Melanie McFarland wrote in 2016, following the series premiere,“the most frightening scenes are the ones that look like our version of the present or the near-future.”

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Sexy Colonel Sanders? How the face of KFC became a (kind of weird) sex symbol

Something I’ve realized recenly is that I don't have the necessary tact to be on the Kentucky Fried Chicken marketing team, especially now that Colonel Sanders is a sex symbol. Yes, that Colonel Sanders. Over the last several years, KFC has deliberately positioned the bespectacled Southern gentleman — he of the white goatee, double-breasted suit and string tie — as an object of desire. Harlan is now hot.

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Founder of one of the nation's largest conversion therapy programs comes out as gay

On August 31, the Post and Courier, the daily paper in Charleston South Carolina, published a story that began with one short, declarative sentence: “McKrae Game is gay.”

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Alton Brown's delightfully nerdy, utterly satisfying 'Good Eats' is back — and not a moment too soon

Over the weekend, a video tutorial for a “deep fried BBQ chicken-stuffed pizzadilla” entered the Twittersphere. The recipe, originally published on the Facebook page of the UK-based website Twisted Food, is demonstrated in a familiar upbeat, step-by-step style. But the “pizzadilla” itself is troubling; crafted from a stack of BBQ chicken quesadillas, which have been chilled and subsequently deep-fried into a series of thick, crisp wedges.

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What megachurches tell us about evangelicals

“Brother pastors?” Kelvin Gemstone (Adam Devine) says as he smiles to a group of four men waiting in his church lobby. He leads them into the auditorium, a massive structure that looks more like an NBA arena, packed with navy blue folding chairs, flanked by two-story balconies.

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‘I am ready to let God use me': Behind the secretive Christian organization embedded at the roots of American political life

In July 2018, the Justice Department unsealed a criminal complaint that detailed how a woman from Russia, Maria Butina, was accused of  “acting as an agent of a foreign government” by attempting “to establish a back channel of communication” with powerful politicians, most notably at the 2016 and 2017 National Prayer Breakfasts. She would go on to plead guilty of conspiring as a clandestine foreign agent on behalf of the Russian government.

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Tomi Lahren denounced 'mean girls' in her book. Now she's apologizing for accusing Harris of using sex for advancement

As Fox News personality Tomi Lahren live-tweeted the second half of CNN's Democratic primary debate on Wednesday night, she insinuated that California Sen. Kamala Harris had used sex to advance her career in a tweet that was met with criticism from her own Fox colleagues.

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'Queer Eye' for the purity culture survivor: On the Fab Five's healthy approach to being selfish

I can tell you, with some level of certainty, that from the moment I was born, my pastor assumed I would become a mother. I grew up in a Christian denomination that preached a “go forth and multiply” gospel, bolstered by baby parades and quiverfull dreams. (Psalm 127: “As arrows are in the hand of a mighty man; so are children of the youth. Happy is the man that hath his quiver full of them.”)

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Did anyone do the required reading before Mueller's testimony?

Despite the fact that his class had an entire semester to prepare, Professor Mueller was unsurprised to discover that no one had done the assigned reading.

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Actor Adam Scott and Mitch McConnell just got into a bizarre war on Twitter

On Wednesday, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s social media team responded to a tweet using a GIF of Ben Wyatt, actor Adam Scott’s character from the television series “Parks and Recreation.”

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Are the rules of polite society being rewritten? Questions of civility in the Trump era

Eric Trump says he was spit on by an employee at Aviary, a high-end Chicago cocktail bar, on Tuesday night. The employee was briefly taken into Secret Service custody and then released.

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