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Opening Arguments

They're baaack!

Such sweet sorrow

Hey, it's Stupid Celebrities Amusing Us Monday:

CHRIS Martin and Gwyneth Paltrow held a bizarre separating ceremony to prepare themselves for their imminent divorce.

The estranged A-list pair took part in the oddball spiritual healing ceremony while holidaying in the Bahamas last week.

Posted in: Movies

RIP, Anthony Arthur Gerlach

When my friend Lisa's mother Vivian died in 2010, I went with Lisa and her father Art to Lindenwood Cemetery where they made arrangements for cremation. That also happens to be where my mother and father are buried, and after we'd taken care of the arrangements, we stopped by their graves. Before we left, Lisa and Art were down on their knees, clearing away the weeds from the graves. That's the kind of guy he was -- you never had to ask him for help.

Well, this is embarrassing


Sen. Dan Coats (R-Ind.) was prepped for an appropriations hearing on the defense budget when he took his turn Wednesday afternoon, flipping papers on his lap, reading from them and commending the witness for his department’s prompt response to a letter Coats had sent about a military accounting office in his home state.

'Bye, Dave

So David Letterman is gonna retire. As a fellow Ball State grad, I almost hate to say it, but sooo don't care. Never got into him and his snide, sneering snottiness. Of all the replacement contenders, most of whom I've just seen snippets of here and there, I'd put my vote in for Craig Ferguson. His show is almost entirely improvised, which gives it an immediacy the more scripted shows don't have.

Posted in: Television

Holy Moly, a Stinkburger

Wod. Did the temperature in hell just drop dramatically? Barack Obama and Sarah Palin are in complete agreement on something. Via The Corner, Here's Obama on the GOP budget:

The president paid a visit to Zingerman’s Deli in Ann Arbor, Mich., today as part of his push to increase the minimum wage.

Bundle me, baby

Money talks

An interesting story about how our spending habits are going to change:

Imagine it’s 2040.

You go to the grocery store, and when you look for the checkout counter there is none. There’s no place to pay for your groceries because you already did.

Posted in: Science, Web/Tech

Backup plan

Time for one of my periodic "the nanny state wants to hold our hands from cradle to grave" libertarian rants.   Driven by consumer demand for more safety features, auto manufacturers have started making rearview cameras standard equipment -- the cameras are already standard or optional equipment on 85 percent of model 2014 cars.

Suck it, vegans

Posted in: Food and Drink

A four-letter word that rhymes with duck

Whatever else you can say about newspapers, we're sort of the last bastion of clean and polite language. Any of you who still read newspapers appreciate that, or would you rather we loosenedup a bit? A case can certainly be made for relaxing our rules against profanity:



Fire and brimstone coming down from the skies! Rivers and seas boiling! Forty years of darkness! Earthquakes, volcanoes, the dead rising from the grave! Human sacrifice, dogs and cats living together… mass hysteria!

Jump right in

Why a startup marriage is more satisfying than a merger marriage, from sociologist Charles Murray:

The age of marriage for college graduates has been increasing for decades, and this cultural shift has been a good thing. Many 22-year-olds are saved from bad marriages because they go into relationships at that age assuming that marriage is still out of the question.


Wow. Leave it to a teenager. In the Pittsburgh area, 14-year-old Suvir Mirchandani did a sicen fair project on how his school district could save money on ink, which is the most expensive component of printing (about $75 an ounce, compared with $28 an ounce for Chanel No. 5). He calculated the district could save 24 percent, or as much as $21,000 a year, by switching to Garamond type, with its thinner stroke for letters. So what if this were applied to the federal government?

Don't shield me, please

I was strongly against media  shield laws when they were being proposed by Republicans like Mike Pence, so I guess I can be strongly against Chuck Schumer's version with being accused of partisan hackery. Sen. John Cornyn, the Senate minority whip, correctly complains that the bill would amount to government licensing of journalists, which would go against everything the First Amendment stands for:

Pretend courage


The John F. Kennedy Library Foundation on Thursday announced the 41st U.S. president, father of former President George W. Bush, is co-recipient of the 2014 Profile in Courage Award for making the politically difficult choice to raise taxes two years into his first term.

This just in

This "Key Indicators in Media & News Report" from the folks at Pew shows how news consumption changed in 2013 and has lots of tidbits about which we can endlessly speculate. Cable news audience -- declined; are we getting tired of the partisan shouting? Local TV news -- new signs of life, and network news viewership increased, too; are we trying to find our commonality again? Newspaper readership -- up 3 percent daily and 1.6 percent Sunday; woo-hoo!

Gutter bawl

No pot jokes today

I remember being surprised if not downright shocked when William F. Buckley, at the time the most prominent conservative thinker around, not only softened his stand on marijuana but even went out beyond the three-mile limit and actually tried the stuff. Now we have Michelle Malkin, no slouch when it comes to conservatism, rethinking the issue for personal reasons: