Anderson Cooper Chokes Up Asking About Moment Gay ICU Doctor Died in His Husband’s Arms: WATCH

Last week we reported on Dr. Joseph Costa, the chief of the critical care division/ICU at Mercy Medical Center in Baltimore, who died of complications from COVID-19 in his husbands arms. He was 56.

On AC360, Anderson Cooper got choked up speaking with Costa’s husband David Hart, about how he took off his PPE in his husband’s final moments.

ICYMI: Colleagues Shaken as ICU Chief at Baltimore Hospital Dies of COVID-19 in Husband’s Arms: WATCH

“So many people did not have the privilege that I had and I cannot imagine going through what I went through and not being able to be in the room,” said Hart. “I contracted COVID from Joe at the time he was dying. I was just not going to not be able to touch him with my bare hands, with my cheek, so I took everything off. I just took it off. I know I wasn’t supposed to do that, but, at that point, it was what I wanted to do for him to help support and comfort him.”

“Unfortunately, those 20 people that he worked with, his fellow physicians and nurses, they had to leave that room and go back to work, so they did not have that luxury,” Hart continued. “So they had their hands in blue gloves on his body which was a very poignant moment for him. So I was holding him and I looked down the length of his body and that’s what I saw.”

“I feel for them,” Hart added. “For everybody who has been in that situation, for everybody who has lost a loved one, it’s important to be there. It’s important to touch somebody. That’s what’s so cruel about this disease, the quarantining, the not being able to touch somebody, to give somebody a hug.”

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Nashville Restaurant to Press Assault Charges Against COVID Rule-Defying ‘Bedazzled’ Bachelorette Party Attendee Who Coughed on Manager: WATCH

bachelorette cough mockingbird

Mikey Corona, who owns Nashville restaurant Mockingbird with his husband Brian Riggenbach, says he plans to press charges after a bachelorette attendee deliberately coughed on his manager when she was was told it was against the city’s COVID regulations to join two tables together.

WKRN reports: “He said the woman coughed three times while directing the cough with her hand toward his employee. He said the group of 10 stomped out after not being allowed to move their tables together, a violation of the current Phase Two health orders. Additionally, some in the bachelorette party refused to wear a mask, he said, but coughing on his employee elevated the disruption to another level.”

Said Corona to WKRN: “It was intentional, it was malice, it was not done in any sort of accidental way. We knew exactly what that meant. That’s the equivalent of spitting on somebody or slapping somebody, let alone during the pandemic. … You know we are all about fun in this town, but when you come in with your bedazzled cowboy boots and you stomp on us like we are a mat that’s not ok. That’s where you have to draw the line because we are also human and you should respect that first and foremost.”

Corona says the manager is now quarantined until she gets tested.

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Nancy Pelosi Says Dr. Birx is ‘Enabling’ Trump’s COVID Lies: She ‘Stands There While the President Says ‘Swallow Lysol” — WATCH

On CNN Monday, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi was asked about remarks she made over the weekend in which she said she had no confidence in Dr. Deborah Birx, Coronavirus Response Coordinator for the White House Coronavirus Task Force since February 2020.

Said Pelosi to ABC News’ Martha Raddatz: “I think the president has been spreading disinformation about the virus and she is his appointee so, I don’t have confidence there, no.”

Pelosi clarified the remarks to CNN’s Jim Sciutto, explaining a talk she had with White House officials: “What happened is we had a conversation about how we stop the virus, and when we did, they were making contentions about how tracing isn’t a valuable thing, we shouldn’t do it, and I said ‘Well that’s not what most scientists say.’ And they said ‘well we’ll bring a scientist to say that,’ and I said ‘Make sure it’s not Dr. Birx because I don’t have confidence in anyone who stands there while the president says swallow Lysol and it’s going to cure your virus.’”

“It’ll kill you and you won’t have the virus anymore,” Pelosi continued. “I don’t have confidence in somebody when the president says ‘it’s a hoax, magic, it’s going to go away by magic, a miracle,’ and all those things. No. I don’t have confidence.”

“I think that she has enabled [Trump’s lies],” Pelosi added. “But it’s not about her. It’s about the American people and how this administration has not had a strategic plan. …. If the president is saying these things, then who’s advising him that this is okay and enabling that to happen?”

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Right-Wing Texas Lawmaker Who Compared Coronavirus Restrictions to ‘Socialism’ Nearly Dies from COVID-19

Right-wing Texas state Rep. Tony Tinderholt, who pushed for reopening the state amid the coronavirus pandemic and compared the shutdown to “socialism,” says he thought he was going to die after recently testing positive for COVID-19.

“Though I am not quite back to 100% health, I am feeling much better and continue to self isolate and heal inside my home,” Tinderholt wrote on Facebook on Friday afternoon. “I praise the Lord for keeping my family safe and for sending an excellent medical professional who was not afraid to practice the medicine he felt was in the best interest of his patients.”

According to the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, Tinderholt’s treatment did not include hydroxychloroquine because doctors thought it would be too risky given that he has a titanium heart valve.

The Texas Tribune reports: “I truly thought last Friday was gonna be my last,” Tinderholt, an Arlington Republican, said in a text message to the Tribune. Tinderholt said his wife and two of his children also tested positive for the virus, though their symptoms were less severe. … Tinderholt is a member of the hardline conservative House Freedom Caucus, which has frequently criticized Gov. Greg Abbott’s response to the pandemic — shutting down businesses and requiring masks in public — as government overreach. In an April 24 letter to the governor, the caucus urged Abbott to “fully reopen” the state economy, arguing that the longer he waited to reopen, the longer it would take to recover.

Tinderholt also called for a special session of the Legislature to overturn Abbott’s statewide mask mandate. In his own letter to the governor, Tinderholt said the Founding Fathers would be “rolling over in their graves” if they witnessed the “massive growth in government power” that occurred when people were “gripped with fear” in the early days of the pandemic.

“Therefore, if we allow government to continue to grow one more iota over this level of threat, then we are ushering in the very foundations of socialism,” Tinderholt wrote. “The question I would encourage you ask yourself is this: do you want to be the governor who helped socialism take root in Texas or one who stood for freedom in the midst of great pressure? I know we both stand for freedom and personal liberty over socialist ideals. However, they will take root if we do not permanently change this course now.”

Tinderholt is perhaps best known to the LGBT community for filing an ethics complaint against the first judge to perform a same-sex marriage in Texas. Tinderholt has been married five times, including one relationship that ended with a restraining order against him. The lesbian couple involved in Texas’ first same-sex marriage had been together for 30 years, and one of the women was gravely ill with ovarian cancer.

Last year, Tinderholt introduced a bill that would have made it possible for women to get the death penalty for having abortions.

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‘Mask Debate’ or ‘Masturbate’? This Viral Video Will Stroke Your Funny Bone (WATCH)

The term “mask debate” will never be the same again, thanks to Last Week Tonight with John Oliver.

Metro reports: A viral video is all the talk online following the latest episode of Last Week Tonight with John Oliver, with newsreaders saying “mask debate” over and over again eliciting chuckles from the masses. Why? Well, you see, when you listen (not even that carefully) it tends to sound a whole lot like they’re saying “masturbate.” Which is, evidently, why we cannot have nice things and we are all clearly children. … In this week’s programme they dedicated nearly a minute to bless our ears with, essentially, the word ‘masturbate’ in a segment titled: “We promise you: these people are not saying ‘masturbate.’”

More from the Daily Dot: “The mask debate is intensifying,” says one news anchor in the video, while others declare that the “mask debate now taking center stage at local restaurants” and pose the question, “how many mask debates have you gotten into?” “There’s now a video of a raging mask debate,” says one female anchor, of what sounds like a decidedly NSFW affair. … A good rule of thumb for those who would like to mask debate is that you do it in the privacy of your own home, preferably with the lights off and curtains closed. Because to do so in public, on Facebook, or literally anywhere else where others can see or hear you—well, you just look like an asshole.

Check out a few reactions below.

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John Lewis’s Motorcade Makes Poignant Stop Amid Rainbow Crosswalks in Atlanta to Honor His Allyship with LGBTQ Community: WATCH

John Lewis

The body of the late Rep. John Lewis (D-GA) arrived in Atlanta to lie in state at the Georgia State Capitol. As the civil rights icon’s hearse made its way through the city, it made several stops at notable sites, including the rainbow crosswalk at 10th Street and Piedmont to pay tribute to Lewis’s allyship with the LGBTQ community and vocal support throughout his political career for its rights.

At 12:00 in the first video below.

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution examined Lewis’s early and staunch support for gay rights: “Lewis supported same-sex marriage in the early 2000s, years before many fellow African Americans and Democrats embraced the issue, and more than a decade prior to the U.S. Supreme Court legalizing the unions. Lewis compared the struggle for the equal treatment of LGBTQ people to his work on the front lines of the civil rights movement in an October 2003 Boston Globe editorial.”

Wrote Lewis in that editorial: “We cannot keep turning our backs on gay and lesbian Americans. I have fought too hard and too long against discrimination based on race and color not to stand up against discrimination based on sexual orientation. I’ve heard the reasons for opposing civil marriage for same-sex couples. Cut through the distractions, and they stink of the same fear, hatred, and intolerance I have known in racism and in bigotry.”

“Some say let’s choose another route and give gay folks some legal rights but call it something other than marriage,” Lewis continued. “We have been down that road before in this country. Separate is not equal. The rights to liberty and happiness belong to each of us and on the same terms, without regard to either skin color or sexual orientation. Some say they are uncomfortable with the thought of gays and lesbians marrying. But our rights as Americans do not depend on the approval of others. Our rights depend on us being Americans.”

Read his full editorial HERE.

The AJC notes that Lewis lobbied for the Human Rights Campaign during the ’90s ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ era, and was one of two Georgia lawmakers who refused to sign the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) which defined marriage as between a man and a woman. Lewis also stood out against Georgia’s ban on gay adoption.

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SCOTUS LGBTQ, Trevor Noah, Will Dismukes, Elton John, Maine Shark, David Perdue, Huntington Beach, Red Dawn Team: HOT LINKS

supreme court

SCOTUS. CNN details behind-the-scenes wrangling over the Supreme Court’s 6-3 ruling on LGBTQ employment protections. “It was fellow conservative Roberts who assigned him the opinion. And as Gorsuch devised his legal rationale, liberal Justice Elena Kaganappealed in public and private to his interest in sticking close to the text of laws. A 2010 appointee of President Barack Obama, Kagan has demonstrated a savvy ability to negotiate across ideological wings of the bench. On the other side, a series of scathing draft dissents by conservative Justice Samuel Alito that attacked Gorsuch’s logic failed to dissuade any of the six justices in the majority, who did not waver through the final months of internal deliberations.”

JOHN LEWIS. Nancy Pelosi offers tribute to the “conscience of the U.S. Senate” as he lies in state at the Capitol. “When he made his speech (at the March on Washington) 57 years ago, he was the youngest speaker. How fitting it is that in the final days of his life, he summoned the strength to acknowledge the young people peacefully protesting in the same spirit of that march, taking up the unfinished work of racial justice. Helping complete the journey begun more than 55 years ago.”

NECESSARY EVIL? Trevor Noah slams Tom Cotton for objecting to teaching the 1619 Project  in schools: “Hold up, hold up, hold up, hold up, hold up — so Senator Cotton thinks that this curriculum is racially divisive? Really, this curriculum? Yo, you know what’s really racially divisive? Slavery.”

ALABAMA. Democratic Party renews calls for Rep. Will Dismukes, R-Prattville to resign after he said he had a “great time” honoring Confederate Army General and Ku Klux Klan leader Nathan Bedford Forrest over the weekend.

RED DAWN. Pandemic experts break their silence about early email chain with government officials: “The Red Dawn emailers have tried to maintain a low profile, but six of them agreed to speak with ABC News, most for the first time publicly. The detailed accounts paint a picture of a frantic, race-against-the-clock effort to raise alarms in hopes of prodding a faster, stronger federal response to COVID-19.”

Elton John

RENATE BLAUEL. Elton John’s ex-wife is suing him for blabbing about their marriage.

WYOMING. Kim Kardashian seen crying in visit with Kanye West.

THE HEAT IS ON. Patrick Wilson does some shirtless cooking.

GEORGIA. Senator David Perdue deletes Facebook ad which photoshopped his Jewish opponent Jon Ossoff to make his nose bigger. Odsoff: “Sitting U.S. Senator David Perdue’s digital attack ad distorted my face to enlarge and extend my nose. I’m Jewish. This is the oldest, most obvious, least original anti-Semitic trope in history. Senator, literally no one believes your excuses.”

MAINE. Shark, likely Great White, kills swimmer in Mackerel Cove off Bailey Island in Harpswell. “This is the first documented fatality ever in Maine,” James Sulikowski, a former University of New England professor and researcher who conducts shark research in Maine and locations worldwide, said in an interview Monday evening. “Shark interactions with humans are very rare in Maine. My guess is that the person was mistaken as a food item. In this area of Maine and depending on how close to shore the event occurred, my guess is it was a white shark.”

CORONAVIRUS. New poll reveals rise of COVID-19 social bubbles

RUN AWAY. Trump adviser Peter Navarro makes a dash when he senses question coming about Trump’s attacks on Fauci. Why she warned him she was going to ask it we’ll never know.

CONFUSED. Mitch McConnell was asked by a reporter why the Republican coronavirus relief bill contains funding for a new FBI headquarters.

COVIDIOT VIDEO OF THE DAY. Solving the mask shortage in Huntington Beach, California.

CLIP OF THE DAY. RuPaul and the Muppets.

TUESDAY TEMPTATIONS. Pennsylvania Rep. Brian Sims.

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Indict Trump for Negligent Homicide

“Negligent homicide occurs when a defendant kills another person while engaging in conduct that they should have known carried risks.”

The last months have been some of the most difficult in the history of our republic and there appears to be no end in sight.  COVID-19 is devastating our country, with experts predicting near a quarter of million dead by election day.  Many who survive the plague face months of recovery and may experience serious neurological, respiratory, and cardiac side effects for an exceptionally long time.

When the surge hit the Northeast and particularly New York and New Jersey, we hardly knew anything about COVID-19. Thanks to heroic actions by governors, scientists, and everyday Americans, we learned (and are still learning) painful lessons about how to fight this virus.  Tragically, hundreds of thousands died on this learning curve.

Months into this pandemic, we have a core base of knowledge that is accepted by the scientific and medical communities.  This includes these basics: shutdowns did work; opening up too soon is deadly; our economy can’t recover until we get this pandemic under control; wearing masks and social distancing is the most effective way for individual Americans to fight the disease; and local leaders can’t fight the pandemic alone without strong national leadership. 

Clear, powerful, and courageous leadership is urgently needed at the national level.  

At first, Trump was overwhelmed by COVID-19.  This virus respected no boundaries, no blue states or red states, no political party and certainly couldn’t care less about the upcoming election.  Trump fumbled around looking for a place that he should land when this virus, which he had been warned about, arrived.  I honestly believed that in the early days he was like the rest of us, attempting to find his way on a road filled with harsh and bloody rocks. 

We will give him those early moments.  

Instead of providing the national leadership urgently required with regard to testing, masks and contact tracing, Trump has progressed along the most evil and disastrous path imaginable, allowing Americans to die in an attempt to save his presidency.  

There is no disputing this fact.  Now, Trump undoubtedly has the information and knowledge needed to make tough decisions, and he has chosen his own well-being over the national interest. 

It is one thing to ignore a crisis and hope it will go away, or to not be able to summon the leadership required.  It is another to embark on a program of deliberately disseminating misinformation with full knowledge that the path will kill tens of thousands of Americans.  

His actions over the last weeks, with the support of his henchmen Ron DeSantis, Brian Kemp, Greg Abbott and Doug Ducey, perfectly fit the definition of negligent homicide. By refusing to curb this pandemic for political reasons, spreading copious amounts of disinformation, and implementing a campaign of character assassination against those attempting to oppose his deadly policies, Trump has created a clear-cut case for his indictment. 

Unfortunately, there is great legal uncertainty as to whether a U.S. president can be indicted for any of his policies.  Most constitutional lawyers would say that he cannot.

However, the U.S. Supreme Court recently made clear that no person, including this president, is above the law.  Trump’s actions in recent weeks will lead to hundreds of thousands of American deaths and tens of thousands of others will be damaged for life by the disease.  He knowingly chose a path that not only failed to slow the pandemic but one that aided its spread for political reasons.

It is time to hold him responsible for these premeditated actions and indict him for negligent homicide. I hope somewhere in America there is a brave prosecutor or district attorney that will put those charges in front of a grand jury of Americans and let them decide if Trump’s crimes against humanity are so egregious that he should be indicted.  

Our president is a killer.

All opinions expressed are those of the author.

David Mixner, whom Newsweek once named the most powerful gay man in America, has been a highly regarded leader in American politics and international human rights for over 40 years and is a best-selling author of Stranger Among Friends, At Home with Myself, and Brave Journeys (co-written with Dennis Bailey). A sought after keynote speaker around the globe, Mixner has lectured at Oxford, Harvard, Stanford, Princeton, and the London School of Economics.

Mixner has raised over $30 million for candidates and charity organizations, including well over $1 million for openly gay and lesbian candidates across the country, and has participated in over 75 election campaigns, serving as campaign manager, fundraiser, or strategist. Campaigns include Gephardt for President, Clinton for President, Hart for President, McGovern for President, Bradley for Mayor, and Brown for Governor and Senate. Additionally, Mixner is a past member of the Democratic National Committee, the Democratic Party National Commission on Delegate Selection and Party Reform, the Gay and Lesbian Victory Fund (former National Co-Chair).

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Couple Shopping at Walmart Proudly Flaunts Nazi Swastika Masks: WATCH

minnesota nazi face masks

A couple shopping at a Walmart in Marshall, Minnesota were captured on video proudly wearing face masks emblazoned with Nazi swastikas.

Said a man observing the couple: “You’re sick. Yeah, you’re sick. You have an illness. You can’t be American and wear that mask. We literally had a war about this.”

The woman wearing the swastika mask replied: “If you vote for Biden, you’re going to be in Nazi Germany. That’s what it’s gonna be like. … You aren’t getting it. I’m not a Nazi. I’m trying to tell you, if you vote for Biden this is what we’re gonna have.”

KARE11 reports: “The 59-year-old man and a 64-year-old woman confronted another group of shoppers who recorded the incident on their phone. Video on social media subsequently went viral. … Marshall PD says they responded to the incident around noon on Saturday, on reports that the couple’s masks were causing a disturbance. According to Marshall PD Sergeant Jason Buysse, his department issued a notice of trespass to the two shoppers.”

The couple was reportedly told they’ll face arrest if they return to the Walmart.

Raphaela Mueller, who posted the video to Facebook, wrote: “I was born and raised in Germany, and I grew up hearing about my great-grandmother who fought in the underground against the first wave of Nazis in the 1930s and 40s. Let me make this abundantly clear once and for all – THE SWASTIKA IS A HATE SYMBOL AND YOU DO NOT FLY THE FLAG, YOU DO NOT WEAR THE SYMBOL ANYWHERE ON YOUR BODY, YOU DO NOT USE OR DEFEND THIS SYMBOL, EVER. END OF STORY.”

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Three Queens Get the ‘Clap’ But Only One Gets the Crown on ‘Drag Race All Stars’ Finale [RECAP]

Having grown accustomed to season-ending lip sync smackdowns (and even a virtual finale that exceeded most expectations), the All Stars finales are starting to feel a little “small” by comparison.

A choreographed group number with an original solo already feels like a retread of earlier challenges, even if the difficulty has been ratcheted up. When Shea originally went toe-to-toe with Sasha Velour, it felt like an EVENT. This felt like an episode.

Still, there were some gratifying emotional moments. This final three in particular represent the sort of redemption stories these kinds of spin-offs are designed for. Loyal fans of each queen have rallied around their champion on Tumblr and Twitter and TikTok to claim they never got to show their best.

Now, these several many weeks later, we’ve got a Cracker who’s stopped overthinking everything and brings her whole self to the stage. There’s a clear-headed Jujubee — older, wiser and sober — reaching new heights of her artistry. And then there’s a renewed Shea Couleé, eager to show the world what she can do when she’s not caught off-guard with format surprises and gimmickry.

(Not to take anything away from Sasha’s ingenuity or showmanship, but, come on, Shea was playing checkers at a knife fight.)

Before we get to the big group performance of Ru’s new single “Clap Frack” — excuse me, “Clap BACK” — there’s a lot of talking. So much talking. The top three talk amongst themselves about how they can’t believe they made it this far while simultaneously agreeing they always imagined being the top three.

Then they talk to the previously eliminated queens about any unresolved drama. Why they felt the need to delay the eliminated gals’ return inside a makeshift glory hole, I still do not understand, but at least we finally got some clarity around #CampaignGate.

Predictably, India, the scourge of the season, either purposefully exaggerated Alexis’ intentions to Shea in a desperate attempt to save herself, or she sincerely doesn’t understand the definition of “campaign.” Either one seems likely to me.

The real T is that Alexis and Mayhem asked India IF she had ALREADY VOTED for Shea after the votes were cast. Therefore, it could not have possibly had any intention of influencing India’s vote. Messy, messy.

Oh, but there’s still more talking! This time, it’s Tic-Tac podcast time with Ru and Michelle. This is another segment that’s losing its luster. In the early days, these Tic-Tac chats felt more candid, but, like many portions of Drag Race, it’s becoming a parody of itself. I could script these interviews in advance if asked. These queens are well-versed in RuPaul’s armchair koans and come prepared to present a very well-edited emotional arc that happens to fit nicely into Mama Ru’s worldview.

Finally, after all this talking, we see the fruits of their labor. Todrick Hall has choreographed another epic performance highlighting the top three while incorporating the full cast into the background. I’ve been hard on Todrick in the past for thinking some of his earlier work could be a little cheesy, but he’s matured into quite the visionary and lends an air of modernity to everything he touches on this show.

It’s still not enough to elevate the single itself. For me, “Kitty Girl” is the high-water mark for these final Ru-ets, and “Clap Back” is no “Kitty Girl.”

Shea, Juju and Cracker nail their pieces. Juju might look the least comfortable keeping up with Hall’s challenging choreo, but everyone shines in their moment. Shea has the most demanding moves, but she delivers them with such ease and aplomb, it’s almost hard to appreciate the difficulty.

What follows is one helluva runway. The final three all take inspiration from heritage and history to deliver three absolutely outstanding looks.

First, it’s Jujubee in a stunning stoned body suit inspired by East Asian religious iconography. It fits amazing, the accessories and details were all there and a dramatic, saffron-colored sash created an unforgettable train behind her. She looks incredible.

Cracker took inspiration from her Russian-Jewish background for a pink ensemble dripping in pearls. In hindsight, I can see Cracker leaning more into her Eastern European and Jewish lineage through her runways and elements of her performance, and I can see how it’s helped distinguish her from other campy queens.

Then there’s Shea. Modeled after a photo of her mother, Shea presents an exaggerated, almost Warholian interpretation of formalwear with exaggerated volume and huge hair height. Although Cracker also wore baby pink, this shade looks incredible on Shea’s skin. Just gorgeous.

There’s one last lip sync to Janelle Monáe’s “Make Me Feel,” and it’s a fun one. It’s always tough to follow a lip sync with more than two queens, and these final lip syncs make ME feel like they purposefully edit it to make it look like a nail-biter. And yet, it’s still hard to keep your eyes off Shea, a good sign.

Ru seems to agree, awarding Shea the crown and restoring the queen’s confidence. It’s a beautiful moment for a supremely talented performer. Juju and Cracker both made strong impressions and leave with little to be ashamed of. However, it feels like justice has been served here, and Shea’s supreme skills have finally be recognized, officially.

Do you think the right queen won? Sound off in the comments!

Programming Note: We’ll be kicking off our Canada’s Drag Race recaps next week following the broadcast premiere Monday. We’re starting at the beginning and following the airings on Logo. Look out for new recaps on Tuesdays. I’m looking forward to hearing your thoughts!

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