The Daily Valet. - 3/11/24, Monday

Monday, March 11th Edition
Cory Ohlendorf  
By Cory Ohlendorf, Valet. Editor
Daylight saving, the Oscars ... what a weekend, huh?

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Today’s Big Story

Hollywood’s Big Night


All the highs and lows, along with a few ‘whoas’ of the 2024 Academy Awards


The Oscars are still a big deal. Even if you don’t see all the films. Even if you don’t watch the broadcast—which, I’m guessing, most of you didn’t. Last year’s ceremony did better than 2022, but still resulted in the third smallest audience of all time. Of course, the ceremony always gives us something to talk about. It’s damn near impossible to fill a room with celebrities without something batshit happening—and this year did not disappoint.

The night kicked off with a stellar monologue from Jimmy Kimmel. Rest assured, the comedian covered a ton of ground, including Greta Gerwig's snub, Madame Web's failure, and Robert Downey Jr.'s presumptive Best Supporting Actor win. (RDJ did, in fact, take home the award.) The ceremony began with Da'Vine Joy Randolph winning Best Supporting Actress for her turn in The Holdovers.

Vulture asks, “is this a show for everyone or just the diehards? Is Hollywood back and better than ever, or has it lost its sense of identity?” The production shot simultaneously for big crowd-pleasing moments like Ryan Gosling’s rendition of “I’m Just Ken” and tried to appeal to true awards geeks by having former winners present to the nominees.

Some bits were good: John Cena, nude except for a pair of Birkenstocks, presenting the award for Best Costume was a bold and hilarious choice. The Arnold Schwarzennegger and Danny DeVito Twins reunion was less so.

There were some historic feats this year. For her work in Killers of the Flower Moon, Lily Gladstone was the first Native American woman to earn a nomination for Best Actress. She ultimately lost out to Emma Stone, who nabbed her second Oscar for her chaotic turn as Bella Baxter in Poor Things. Meanwhile, for the first time in history, three of the Best Picture nominees (Barbie, Anatomy of a Fall, and Past Lives) were directed by women. Elsewhere in the ceremony, Cillian Murphy won Best Actor for his performance in Oppenheimer, and Oppenheimer took home the Best Picture trophy. And after taking home the Oscar for her Barbie ballad, Billie Eilish became the youngest person by far to have won two career Oscars.

And the Winner Is:
The Hollywood Reporter has the full list of Oscar winners from last night.

Gaza Begins Ramadan With No Cease-Fire


But the U.S. is not anticipating Israeli forces entering Rafah at the start of Ramadan

International hopes at reaching a cease-fire in the Gaza Strip before the Muslim holy month of Ramadan were dashed on Sunday, hours before Palestinians and other Muslims were to begin the month of daytime fasting. However, the Biden administration is not anticipating that Israeli forces will imminently expand their military operations into Rafah, two U.S. officials told CNN.

But it will likely be coming soon. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu says he intends to press ahead with an invasion on the southern border of the Gaza Strip in defiance of the American president, who has warned such an offensive would be a “red line.” But weeks of indirect negotiations have stalled, and a top Hamas political leader, Ismail Haniyeh, said in a televised speech on Sunday that Hamas wanted an agreement that would end the war, guarantee the withdrawal of Israeli forces from Gaza, return displaced Palestinians to their homes and provide for the humanitarian needs of Gazans. Israel “wants to get its prisoners back and then resume the war on our people,” he said.

According to Politico, relief organizations have warned that an attack on Rafah on the border with Egypt—and now a refuge for about half of Gaza's 2.3 million population—would result in widespread civilian casualties. Germany’s Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock said it would be “a humanitarian catastrophe.”

Dig Deeper:
Israeli pressure on the Palestinian economy has resulted in 70% of workers there not receiving a salary.


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A New TikTok Ban Is Gaining Steam


But can Congress really outlaw the app? For real?

TikTok once again finds itself in a precarious position. This time, it comes in the form of legislation that would ban the popular social media platform if it doesn’t break ties with ByteDance, its Beijing-based parent company. At the end of the last week, the House of Representatives unanimously approved a bipartisan bill that would require the Chinese firm to divest TikTok and other applications it owns within six months of the bill’s enactment in order to avoid a nation-wide ban. The legislation also creates a process that lets the executive branch prohibit access to other apps that pose a threat to national security.

On Friday, President Biden confirmed his support for the bill advancing through Congress. “If they pass it, I’ll sign it,” he told reporters. TikTok responded by asking users to call their members of Congress in protest of the new bipartisan bill, arguing that a ban would infringe on their constitutional right to free expression and harm businesses and creators across the country. Vox reports that teens and the elderly alike did just that—saying they spend all day on the app. Creators posted on TikTok urging their followers to do the same. Apparently, it was such a response, many Congress people had to shut down their phone lines temporarily.

According to Business Insider, this bill isn’t just grandstanding. It has a real chance of becoming law. But it won’t be easy. Congress likely can’t outright ban TikTok or any social media platform unless it can prove that it poses legitimate and serious privacy and national security concerns that can’t be addressed by any other means, an attorney familiar with the case confirmed to Vox. The bar for such a justification is necessarily very high in order to protect Americans’ First Amendment rights. What’s more likely isn’t an outright ban, but much stricter regulations.

The Hill reports that former President Trump signaled his opposition to the legislation, despite his previous support for banning the social media app.

We Sprang Forward


Politicians keep trying to make permanent daylight saving a reality

You might be a little groggy as you’re reading this, thanks to our clocks “springing forward” an hour as daylight saving time began over the weekend. Or perhaps you’re not as sleep-deprived as I am and you hardly noticed the time change, since nearly every one of our clocks is digital and we don’t have to change them.

It ssems like each time this happens, there are questions like “where did this all come from, though?” There’s been plenty of debate over the practice, but about 70 countries—about 40% of those across the globe—currently use what Americans call daylight saving time, reports the Associated Press. Germany was the originator, actually. It used daylight saving time during World War I under the idea that it would save energy. Other countries, including the United States, soon followed suit. During World War II, the U.S. once again instituted what was dubbed “war time” nationwide, this time year-round. In the United States today, every state except Hawaii and Arizona observes daylight saving time.

But the political fight to end the twice-yearly time changes isn't over despite stalled legislation that has sat idle since March 2023. Senators Marco Rubio (of Florida) and Ed Markey (of Massachusetts) renewed their push to make daylight saving time permanent, reminding Americans about the bipartisan support for the Sunshine Protection Act. And according to USA Today, most Americans, more than 62%, are now in favor of ending the time change. I guess we have about six months until we revisit the topic.

Dig Deeper:
Most experts agree that daylight saving time isn't the best for our internal clocks.


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Morning Motto

Don’t let comparison get in your way.


Comparison is the death of your creativity.




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