Sinead O’Connor, now going by Shuhada Davitt after converting to Islam, says she never wants to ‘spend time with white people again’

Sinead O’Connor says she’s done with white people.

The Irish singer, who famously ripped up a photo of Pope John Paul II during an appearance on “Saturday Night Live.” announced late last month that she was converting to Islam. Now, she’s sworn off white people entirely.

“I’m terribly sorry. What…

/entertainment – New York Daily News


11.2.18 Clark Stinks; Gas prices going down for the Holidays

Christa reads listener posts about how Clark has missed the mark in his advice this week. If you have a “Clark Stinks” to share you can leave it here; Gas prices are going down just in time for the Holidays. And the US is now #1 in getting oil out of the ground.

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Brad Pitt Is Sure That Angelina Jolie Is Going To Create Drama When It Comes To The Holidays

More than two years after they separated, Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie are still in the middle of their nasty divorce and custody battle, and a new report claims it is going to be a drama-filled holiday season for the former couple. Could the strange move Jolie’s lawyers made this past week be an indication of unusual things to come?

According to Radar Online, one of Jolie’s lawyers, Joseph Mannis, took the odd step of filing a formal motion with the court to notify them that he will be out of town for a week at Thanksgiving and two weeks at Christmas.

Because of this, Mannis has requested that the court doesn’t have any hearings between Jolie and Pitt during those times.

“Brad’s lawyers are going to ignore something that comes up with the kids that needs immediate attention from the court just because Joe is on vacation?” asked an insider.

The source says that the Once Upon A Time in Hollywood star is concerned that his ex will be ready “to stir up drama” during the holiday season and is going to continue her attempts to make Pitt look like the bad guy, especially if he needs to go to court while her attorney isn’t in town.

However, Pitt isn’t going to let Jolie’s antics keep him from spending time with their six children, says the insider.

Jolie recently made things even worse with Pitt when she threw out a bunch of items that he had left with the kids. The source says that Pitt left antiques, family heirlooms, and sentimental trinkets like old toys with the kids, and when Jolie found them, she threw them all out “without hesitation.”

Even though the divorce drags on, Pitt has moved on and is dating. However, the chances of him walking the red carpet with another celebrity are pretty small, says a pal. Friends do think that Pitt will marry again, but they think he will end up with a woman who has a lower profile.

Insiders say that these last two years have been a nightmare for the actor. And, after decades of relationships with women like Jolie, Jennifer Aniston, Gwyneth Paltrow, and Juliette Lewis, Pitt wants to keep things more private instead of having a public relationship.

Sources say that Pitt is enjoying hanging out with his friends and meeting women through people he trusts, but his top priorities at the moment are his children, his work, and getting some sense of normalcy. He is casually dating, but right now everything is about the kids.

Brad Pitt has stayed relatively quiet since his split from Angelina Jolie, making only two public statements. An insider says he is trying to do what is best for his kids, but he is hurt. Ultimately, his friends want him to find peace and love again.

Celebrity Insider


Using 529s for Going Back to School

using 529s for going back to schoolReaders, have you ever considered using 529s for going back to school, either for yourself or a partner? If you’re thinking about getting a law degree or enrolling in another graduate program in the future, you should know the basics of using 529s to fund your education. I’m betting that the typical Corporette reader is more familiar with these tax-advantaged savings plans than the general public — only a third of Americans know what they’re for, which I assume is partly due to their oh-so-creative name — but it’s been quite a while since we’ve discussed them, so it’s time for an to use 529s to go back to school(By the way, the 529’s lesser-known name does reveal its purpose: QTP, or “qualified tuition program.”) Here’s our last discussion on tax-savvy investments such as 529s — and also check out our 529 tips for working moms.

One major change since then, which will only apply to you if you have kids or are considering having kids someday, came courtesy of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act that Congress passed in 2017. Under the new rules, 529 funds can be used not only to pay for college but also for tuition at K–12 public, private, and religious schools. (We’ll get into that later).

Psst: On the subject of grad school, we’ve previously shared tips on how to financially prepare for grad school, as well as how to transition from a lawyer’s salary back to paying tuition and — for when you’re out of school — tips on how to pay off big student loans

Here are some questions and answers about using 529s for going back to school, including a few tips from Jane Yoo, CEO of Jane Financial, a financial planning firm in Oakland, CA, that serves Gen X women professionals:

What are the tax advantages of opening a 529?

With 529 college savings plans, investment growth and withdrawals aren’t subject to federal taxes. The plans are administered by states, although you can use one from anywhere you choose, and some states offer their own tax benefits when you make contributions. For example, New York residents can deduct up to $ 5,000 ($ 10,000 for married couples filing jointly) on state income tax. If you live in Arizona, Arkansas, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, or Pennsylvania, you can still get a state tax deduction if you have a plan from another state. Note: In addition to the 529 option called a college savings plan, you have the option of the less popular 529 prepaid tuition plan, which both states and educational institutions can offer. (Only states can offer college savings plans.)

What can 529 plans be used for?

You can use funds from a 529 to attend a college or university or to enroll in post-secondary training — options include graduate schools, community colleges, trade schools, qualified online degree programs, and even many schools outside the U.S. (Here’s a searchable database.) As mentioned above, 529s can also fund tuition at private elementary and secondary schools, up to $ 10,000 per beneficiary per year.

When should I open a 529 plan?

If you’ve decided to go to grad school yourself, the answer is “now.” Regarding a child’s college education, says Yoo, “It’s never too late to get started.” She adds, “I have many friends and clients who worry that they’re supposed to start saving as soon as the child is born. I generally recommend selecting the age-based option that invests the contributions in a mix of stock and bond mutual funds that gradually become more conservatively allocated (e.g., more bonds than stocks) as the child approaches age 18. I like 529 plans that use low-cost, broadly-diversified investments from Vanguard or iShares; the Utah, Arkansas, and Virginia 529 plans are good places to start your research.”

How much can you put into a 529?

The IRS doesn’t set a specific limit for 529 contributions, but the money can’t exceed the beneficiary’s expected qualified education expenses. States have their own maximums; for example, New York allows up to $ 520,000 in contributors for a single beneficiary. If you’re lucky enough to have someone lending a hand as you save for your education (or your child’s), here’s what you should know: The gift tax exclusion for 2018 is $ 15,000 per beneficiary (increased from $ 14,000 for 2017), but that max can go up to $ 75,000 when a single year’s contribution is treated as being made over five years — that’s called “superfunding.” (For a couple who is married and filing jointly and wants to avoid the gift tax, those numbers become $ 30,000 and $ 150,000.)

When can you withdraw the funds?

A 529 isn’t like an IRA — you won’t pay a penalty for withdrawing your money “early,” as long as you put it toward qualified education expenses. However, you need to use funds from a 529 in the same calendar year in which they’re withdrawn. There’s no set deadline to take the money out, either, which is helpful if you decide not to go back to school and are planning on having kids. (See below.)

Can you use the funds for anything else, such as a down payment on a home?

No. If you withdraw money from a 529 for anything other than qualified educational expenses, you’ll have to pay state and federal income tax and an additional 10% federal tax penalty on your earnings.

Can a 529 plan be transferred to someone else?

When you open a 529, you can designate anyone as beneficiary — including yourself, of course. Within a family, you can change a plan’s beneficiary or roll over funds distributed from a 529 plan without tax penalty. For example, if you’ve been saving money in a 529 for grad school and at some point your plans change, you can simply change the beneficiary to your child.

Should I be worried about putting too much money in a 529?

If you’re considering a 529 for yourself, or especially for your child (or a future child), here is Yoo’s advice on what she said is the most common misconception about these plans — that you’ll “lock up” your money:

[Some clients are] concerned about over-funding the 529 plan; perhaps the child will receive a scholarship, or go to a lower-cost state university. If you are fortunate to have saved more than needed in the 529 plan, you have a few options. You could transfer the balance to another family member (e.g., the child’s sibling if applicable, niece/nephew, or even to yourself if you plan on obtaining a graduate degree). Or you can simply withdraw the unused balance, and (1) pay a 10% penalty on the earnings (not the original contribution) for using the funds for non-qualified education expenses, and (2) pay income taxes on the earnings.

Be sure to track your contributions over the years so that you can bifurcate the balance into contributions vs. earnings (e.g. growth) on those contributions. Note that if you withdraw the unused balance because your child received a scholarship, the 10% penalty on the earnings is waived, but you still would have to pay income taxes on the earnings.

Are you considering using 529s to go back to school? Have you used a 529 to fund your own education before (or your partner’s)? If so, how did you choose the plan?

Further reading:

  • What You Should Know About 529 Accounts and Financial Aid [MarketWatch]
  • For Most College Savers, Prepaid 529 Plans Don’t Make the Grade [Morningstar]
  • How to Withdraw Money From a 529 College Savings Plan [Consumer Reports]
  • 529 Contribution Limits [The Balance]
  • The Cost of Going Back to School as an Adult [NYT]


Why Instagrammers Are Going Wild Over These Debt-Free Coloring Charts

In 2009, Heidi Ifland Nash and her husband were paying off $ 38,000 of debt.

They’d been working on it for several years. At one point, Nash wanted to see tangible progress, so she decided to track their payments on paper with a chart she could color in as they inched toward their goal.

“The very first chart I made was just a big square with lines,” she said, laughing. “I said, ‘This is so boring! I’m gonna put some words on it.’”

She typed the words “debt free” in white text over a black box and added evenly spaced lines from top to bottom. She divided her debt by the number of lines and added the increments to the side. It was the first official Debt Free Chart.

“I was looking for something more inspiring than just the big ugly square that I’d made, and the thermometers just didn’t do it for me,” she said. “[They] just felt like a guilt-based fundraiser.”

Then, she uploaded her chart in the Living Like No One Else forum for people paying off debt. Soon, people started asking for personalized charts.

“I was custom-making everyone’s numbers,” she said. “It didn’t occur to me for months to make ones with just lines and no numbers on the side.”

From there, people asked for different words. First was “car loan.” Other types of loans followed. The first 16 to 20 designs came from requests from the forum.

Nash wanted to make them available to anyone, so she uploaded them to a Blogspot blog in 2010. Then, she forgot about them.

Over the next seven years, Nash had no idea that word of her charts was spreading on social media and Pinterest. People were downloading them constantly.

Why Coloring Can Help You Reach Your Goals

One of Heidi Nash's charts is incorporated in this vision board created by The Penny Hoarder.
Chris Zuppa/The Penny Hoarder.

Studies have shown that envisioning yourself doing something can help you actually accomplish it.

People often make vision boards with pictures of trips they’ll take or the car they’ll upgrade to once their debt is gone. But a vision board celebrates future achievements. It’s just as important during the journey to remind yourself of what you’ve already accomplished.

That’s what Debt Free Charts offer. They make the stale process of paying off debt interactive. Every payment is a celebration of moving one step closer to that vision board goal.

Now, almost a decade after Nash uploaded her first chart, when you search through the #debtfreecommunity on Instagram, it won’t take you long to find photos of brightly colored pages with the words “credit card,” “student loan” or “emergency fund.”

“It’s a great visual motivator to keep going,” said Michelle Brady, who’s using the car fund, credit cards and savings challenge charts.

How Debt Free Charts Got a New Life

One of Heidi Nash's charts is incorporated in this vision board created by The Penny Hoarder.
Chris Zuppa/The Penny Hoarder.

In December 2017, Nash got a chart request. It was the first in a while.

She had become debt-free and gone on to home-school her kids while trying various entrepreneurial ventures in the years since she’d uploaded the charts.

After checking her blog, Nash realized the file storage system and a lot of the links to charts weren’t working. So she moved the charts their own website.

She got the idea to post pictures of people with their charts. She knew some YouTubers had filled out the charts, but she didn’t know what to expect beyond that.

What she found were hundreds of pictures on Instagram with the hashtag #debtfreecharts.

“It’s kinda taken on a life of its own,” Nash said. “It’s doing things I never expected it to do.”

Nash never expected her first Debt Free Chart would turn into the more than 80 she has on her website now. Most cost $ 1, but 20 are free.

At $ 1 each, she isn’t looking to get rich on chart sales. She wants to break even for the cost of running the website. She’d rather use the popularity of the charts to give more away for free.

Nash’s goal is to give out 150,000 free charts in 2018 — and she’s already 50,000 charts toward her goal.

Which ones are her favorites? She loves seeing people post their finished starter emergency fund charts.

“It’s such a ‘Wow, I can do this’ moment for people when they fill that one out,” she said.

Another favorite is the adoption fund chart.

She’s also starting to run challenges to help people meet their savings goals faster. She wants to create a sense of community among those paying off debt.

“You see their joy and relief, and you see the pride in the work that they’ve done to pay off the debt,” Nash said. “It’s something I never expected to feel.”

Jen Smith is a staff writer at The Penny Hoarder. She gives money-saving and debt-payoff tips on Instagram at @savingwithspunk.

The Penny Hoarder Promise: We provide accurate, reliable information. Here’s why you can trust us and how we make money.

This was originally published on The Penny Hoarder, which helps millions of readers worldwide earn and save money by sharing unique job opportunities, personal stories, freebies and more. The Inc. 5000 ranked The Penny Hoarder as the fastest-growing private media company in the U.S. in 2017.

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Who’s Going To Die On ‘Empire’ Season 5?

Season 5 of Empire is taking viewers six months into the future of the House of Lyon, where someone is poised to die, “And it will have deep ramifications,” showrunner Brett Mahoney previously told TV Guide. “Hopefully it will feel satisfying and significant.”

In a flash-forward, Lucious Lyon (Terrence Howard) is seen tearfully standing over a closed coffin mourning the loss of someone whose identity has yet to be revealed.


As the season unfolds, Mahoney says fans will see additional clues about who has a date with death.

Instagram Photo

“In the world that Empire has created, it’s a world where there are life and death stakes and where death can happen to a Lyon,” added Mahoney.

While viewers wait for the identity to be revealed, here’s who thinks will end up in that mysterious grey coffin and why… see below.

Cookie Lyon
Lucious’ pained expression suggests that whoever is in that coffin meant a lot to him and as his ride-or-die wife, Cookie certainly fits the bill. The loss of the Lyon family matriarch would be devastating but it’s not like Empire hasn’t toyed with the idea of her death before. Last season, Cookie suffered a mild heart attack that scared her family into getting their act together and she ultimately recovered.

And while it seems unfathomable that the show would ever part ways with its animal print-wearing verbal assassin, showrunner Brett Mahoney previously told TV Guide that he’s not afraid to kill off a member of the Lyon family, meaning that no one–not even Cookie–is safe in the world of Empire.

Hakeem Lyon
Hakeem (Bryshere “Yazz” Gray) survived a traumatic shooting in the Season 4 finale that resulted in him losing a part of his lung. While the injury has significantly hindered his breathing, thus altering the youngest Lyon’s ability to rap, he seems otherwise stable.

However, Becky (Gabourey Sidibe) telling Lucious “No one could have known” in the flash-forward hints at an unexpected death. Given that Hakeem is still suffering the side effects of the shooting and he’s not exactly taking care of himself, it’s possible that his condition could worsen ultimately lead to his death. Stranger things have happened on the show.

No One
What if Lucious isn’t mourning the loss of a person, but rather his old life? In one of those ominous flash-forwards, the FBI shows up at the end of the deceased’s funeral demanding to speak with him. Given Lucious’ extensive list of enemies and his willingness to do whatever it takes to rebuild his fallen empire, it’s not surprising that he would ruffle the wrong feathers and cost his family everything, including their old identities. Lucious might be too proud to snitch but that doesn’t mean he wouldn’t fake the death of a loved one in order to protect them.

Who do you think is in the casket? 

Empire airs Wednesdays at 8/7c on Fox.

PHOTO: Fox promo




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This Is Us’ Laura Niemi on Her Return as Jack’s Mom: ‘I Knew Her Journey Was Going to Be Tough’

Laura Niemi is opening up about her big return to This Is Us.

Niemi, who plays Jack Pearson’s (Milo Ventimiglia) mother, Marilyn, says her character’s journey as a working class woman who finds herself in an abusive relationship was difficult to play on an emotional level — but was familiar on a personal level.

“I tapped into some personal experience,” Niemi exclusively tells PEOPLE of how she prepared for the role. “I was in a relationship that was pretty toxic and just wanting to be able to get out and not having a voice. I was just in a dark place — I think a place a lot of woman have been in. I could relate to wearing those shoes when it came to Marilyn’s marriage to Stanley. Also the subject of alcoholism was relatable. I’ve seen what it does and the hostages are taken under that disease. I knew her journey was going to be a tough one.”

As far as Tuesday’s episode goes, Niemi says her “journey of now having two boys” will come into play, and viewers will soon see how the Pearson family dynamic impacts Jack’s life.

“This is a big episode for Jack,” she says. “There’s a lot of reveal on our family history. I think it’s going to be a pretty wonderful episode to be able to see how he became who he is. I think it starts with our parents.”

View this post on Instagram

TONIGHT! I had a lump in my throat upon first read of this beautiful script by Dan Fogelman and Tim O’Brien and director Ken Olin brought his entire heart. Can’t wait for everyone to see my boys @michaelangarano & @miloanthonyventimiglia shine in this one. Powerful stuff not to be missed. TV at its best❤ (also, as always, I love this man @peteronorati ) . . #thisisus #jackpearson #vietnam #thepearsons #nickypearson #marilypearson #stanleypearson #tv #nbc

A post shared by L a u r a N i e m i (@lauraniemi) on Oct 16, 2018 at 10:03am PDT


In the season 3 premiere last month, viewers were transported back to the ’70s and found out more about Jack and Rebecca’s first date.

“I always said I was born in the wrong era,” Niemi says about her character’s time travel. “My best friend growing up was my grandmother. This is her generation. I spent New Year’s Eve with my grandparents. I just feel like I’ve always had an older soul and that period of time was such an incredible time. It was wonderful to dive into that period of history.”

And working alongside Ventimiglia has been far from dull.

“I’m on a show that everyone watches ,so people are constantly texting me, ‘What was it like?’ It was fun being able to feel the enthusiasm in my personal life as well,” she says. “Milo is my boy. He’s such a lovely and wonderful man. He makes my job so easy. He’s such a lovable guy and sets the bar so high with this character.”

As for what’s to come this season, the cast previously told PEOPLE that things will begin to fall together come midseason — with the obvious curveballs.

“Episode four is a doozy. We’re going to see a side of Kate we haven’t seen so far. Kate hasn’t felt her feelings deeply and a lot of them are bubbling to the surface. As humans, we don’t always know how to handle them or express them. Sometimes anger is sometimes just sadness masked,” said Chrissy Metz, alluding to Kate’s miscarriage last season as well as Toby’s battle with depression.

This Is Us airs Tuesdays (9 p.m. ET) on NBC.

Fashion Deals Update:

Going for gold: Sotheby’s to hold first sale dedicated to precious metal

From a sculpture of model Kate Moss to an elaborate elephant liqueur set, an array of items made with gold will go under the hammer next week in auction house Sotheby’s first ever sale dedicated to the precious metal.

Reuters: Arts


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10.11.18 Obamacare premiums going down; Google security breach; Stock market troubles

Obamacare premiums are going down to the surprise of many. Also, a couple of new laws could make it easier for you to save on prescription drugs; Google’s security breach was not handled well. Clark tells you to start using Duck Duck Go instead of Google’s search tool; The stock market has had a tough couple of days. Clark gives his thoughts.

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10.8.18 Retail rewards; not going to college; E sim cards

New loyalty programs are bringing bigger perks to loyal shoppers; Men are forsaking college in bigger numbers; E SIM cards will make switching cell phone carriers much easier in the near future. 

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Kylie Jenner Shows Off Her Freckles as She Declares ‘Stormi’s Mom Has Got It Going on’

Kylie Jenner is showing off her natural features!

On Friday, the 21-year-old beauty mogul posed for a photo with popular makeup vlogger James Charles, proudly flaunting her freckles.

“Bare faced sisters 👼🏻 video coming soon,” Charles, who also highlighted his own freckles, captioned the shot.

In July, Jenner tweeted Charles asking if the two could make a video together in which Charles happily responded, “Yes sister it would be an honor.”

It was also in July that Jenner revealed via Instagram that she is no longer enhancing her lips with fillers in favor of a more natural look.

“I got rid of all my filler,” Jenner responded to a fan who noticed she looked different.

View this post on Instagram

bare faced sisters 👼🏻 video coming soon

A post shared by James Charles (@jamescharles) on Oct 5, 2018 at 3:53pm PDT


Shortly after baring her freckles, Jenner uploaded a photo of herself posing on the floor in a pair of black Gucci boots captioned, “Stormis mom has got it going onnnnnn.”

In September, nearly 8 months after giving birth to her daughter Stormi Webster with boyfriend Travis Scott, Jenner opened up about how much her body has changed since welcoming her baby girl.

“Pregnancy completely changed my body at a super young age,” Jenner told Glamour UK for the magazine’s Autumn/Winter 2018 issue. “But I really don’t care.”

View this post on Instagram

stormis mom has got it goin onnnnnn🖤

A post shared by Kylie (@kyliejenner) on Oct 5, 2018 at 6:08pm PDT


Jenner also spoke candidly about her post-baby body on her YouTube page in July. “I feel like people think that I bounced back super fast, which I guess I did,” Jenner explained. However, she noted, “People can get the wrong idea on Instagram sometimes.”

RELATED: Kylie Jenner Says ‘Creating Life Was One Of the Most Beautiful Moments Of My Life’

She said alongside best friend Jordyn Woods, “My boobs are … three times the size, which bothers me. I have stretch marks on my boobs. My stomach isn’t the same, my waist isn’t the same, my butt’s bigger, my thighs bigger.”

“And honestly, I’m finding I have to change my style a little because nothing in my closet fits me from before.”

Fashion Deals Update:

Sophia to Grace: “I’m Not Going to Church Anymore” | Greenleaf | Oprah Winfrey Network


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Big Wave Season Opens October 1st | Get Ready, It’s Going to Get Wild


The WSL Big Wave Tour will witness the world’s best big wave surfers charging massive waves at three of the world’s premiere breaks: Mavericks, Jaws, and Nazaré. This is over the edge.

We’re on the lookout for storms that generate HUGE waves – and when they do – the surfers, fans, and a whole lot of cameras fly in from all corners of the world to put on a spectacle unlike any other. Check out the three places we’ll be competing this winter:

  • Mavericks is a heavy wave that breaks so powerfully that it shakes the ground. It’s three, four, sometimes FIVE stories of terrifying ocean.
  • Jaws, originally known as Pe’ahi, is Hawaiian perfection at 10x the size, which means peril for anyone who makes a mistake.
  • Nazaré is a liquid mountain. That’s not a metaphor — it’s consistently where the biggest waves in the world have been ridden.

Get ready to witness something truly incredible. The holding period is now open and runs through March 31, 2019.

The post Big Wave Season Opens October 1st | Get Ready, It’s Going to Get Wild appeared first on .


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