The state of Tate
Shiny-headed influencer Andrew Tate dominated the headlines over Christmas after being detained in Romania as part of a human trafficking and rape investigation.

Of course Cockburn believes in the concept of "innocent until proven guilty." But he is at pains to point out that many facets of Tate's lifestyle come across as rather sinister. Cockburn was recently approached by a former acquaintance of Tate’s, who wanted to recount going for a meeting at his Bucharest property. Naturally Cockburn couldn't confirm every detail, but the account nonetheless paints an interesting picture:
Walking into his house...

The state of Tate

Shiny-headed influencer Andrew Tate dominated the headlines over Christmas after being detained in Romania as part of a human trafficking and rape investigation.

Of course Cockburn believes in the concept of “innocent until proven guilty.” But he is at pains to point out that many facets of Tate’s lifestyle come across as rather sinister. Cockburn was recently approached by a former acquaintance of Tate’s, who wanted to recount going for a meeting at his Bucharest property. Naturally Cockburn couldn’t confirm every detail, but the account nonetheless paints an interesting picture:

Walking into his house was like walking into an IKEA showroom from 2011. We went down this dirt path to get to it on the outskirts of Bucharest. Every street we passed, it was becoming more and more dilapidated, with more and more boarded up windows. We asked Andrew why he was living somewhere like this, right next to the airport. He basically said because it’s where you can get lots of space, telling us to wait until you see inside “the king’s castle.” He kept calling it his lair, his compound.

As we walked in, there was a room full of what we later found out were rented cars. He walks in the front door and mumbles something about the Lamborghini, telling us not to use it like a taxi. I asked him to give me a tour and he showed me two rooms: his bedroom and his webcam room. I asked why I couldn’t see the rest of the rooms. He said because they were full of high security off-limits stuff. I walked past one of the rooms on the way out and it was like an empty hallway, basically just an empty room. We later found it because he was renting a room in the house from the owners and he wasn’t allowed in any of the other rooms. So much for the millionaire King of Romania.

He checked us into the Marriott in downtown Bucharest. He was like, “I put you up, no expenses spared, the best hotel in the town.” As we were walking to our rooms I saw him tell the receptionist to make sure that we couldn’t use any of the mini fridges, that they should be locked and that we couldn’t have any extra charges because he was worried about the cost.

Byron Donalds, family guy

We are now in Day 4 of the House Republican Competency Challenge — and despite twelve votes, the majority party has not yet selected a speaker. This is due in large part to stubbornness: on the part of Congressman Kevin McCarthy, who is not backing down and negotiating hard with GOP rebels to find a path to 218 votes, and on the part of the Never Kevin rebels themselves — many of whom are single-minded in their efforts to trip up the representative from California‘s 20th.

The rebels have proffered a couple of candidates besides McCarthy this week. One was Florida representative Byron Donalds, who secured twenty votes in a couple of the middle rounds. While nominating Donalds, Texas congressman Chip Roy said, “most importantly he is a family man.” Donalds, like McCarthy, is married — but he has three kids to McCarthy’s two.

Still, Cockburn wonders how rigorously Roy researched before making that assertion on the House floor. Did he speak to many young female staffers, for instance?

Happy 1/6, to those who celebrate

Today is the second anniversary of the Capitol riot in Washington, DC, and Cockburn’s comrade Amber Athey is out with an exclusive excerpt from Trump’s acting secretary of defense Christopher Miller’s forthcoming book. In it, Miller describes “getting reamed out by a histrionic Nancy Pelosi and Mitch McConnell as they implored me to send troops to forcibly expel a rowdy band of MAGA supporters, infiltrated by a handful of provocateurs, who were traipsing through the halls of the Capitol, taking selfies and generally making a mockery of the entire institution.” Blimey. Read the full passage here.

Horndog Harry

It turns out that there is such a thing as too much information after all. After excerpts of Prince Harry’s memoir, Spare, were accidentally put on shelves early in Spain, we now know that he did cocaine, mushrooms, weed and a MILF in a field. Looks like Cockburn and the randy prince aren’t that different after all. But just how are his family dealing with these revelations?

Inside sources claim that Queen Consort Camilla, even after Harry claimed he feared she would be a “wicked stepmother,” saw light in the recounting of the raunchy rendezvous. “The mood throughout the house was, understandably, tense, but Camilla did have a giggle when she heard about the mounting.”

Ted dead redemption

Whatever happened to Ted Lasso? Apple TV+ bagged several Emmys and Golden Globes with Jason Sudeikis’s soccer show — which was supposed to return for a third and possibly final season in late 2022. The show even ran a promotional campaign with the dating app Bumble throughout the tail end of last year — and the timing of the World Cup in Qatar would surely have helped with the viewing figures. Puck has some answers, explaining how Sudeikis taking over as show-runner has led to numerous rewrites and reshoots. “A season of TV that was originally supposed to air this past summer blew through its summer production timeline and isn’t even close to finished,” Matthew Belloni wrote in September. “The latest estimate I heard is that Lasso will wrap before the end of the year, likely in November, and air in the winter or early spring.”