Paul Waldman: The worst way for Democrats to judge their 2020 presidential contenders (Washington Post)
Democrats have to decide exactly what they believe, what they want to do and how to go about it - and most importantly, who they are. The person who wins their nomination will be one who embodies the party's spirit at this moment in history, just as Obama did in 2008. One of these many candidates will prove to be that person; we just have no idea yet which one.
Paul Waldman: Just how far will Republicans go to win? (Washington Post)
if you were to warn the most important members of their party, like Trump and Scott, that they're damaging the legitimacy of the system with their reckless words and actions, they would laugh in your face. Worrying about that stuff is for losers. If there's even a one percent chance that a recount (or just a count) could work out in the other side's favor, then no tactic is too unethical, no accusation too slanderous, no approach too cynical to prevent it from happening. If they have to burn it all down in order to win, that's what they'll do.
Jonathan Chait: Forget Impeachment. Mueller's Real Threat to Trump Is in 2020. (NY Mag)
The point is to establish legal accountability for the president. Well-functioning democracies don't have criminal oligarchies running the country with legal impunity. The kind of deep systemic corruption Trump is implementing, in which establishing a political alliance with a ruling family is a key step in amassing and protecting wealth, depends on selective legal enforcement. More to the point, it requires business partners. Maybe Donald Trump can't be hauled off to prison, but his partners can. And that prospect can scare off the collaborators Trump needs. Second, and more to the point, even if Robert Mueller can't kick Trump out of the White House directly and the Senate won't, there's a body of people who can: the 2020 electorate.
Kaushik: Dutch Prisons Are Being Converted Into Hotels And Apartments Because of Lack of Prisoners (Amusing Planet)
Crime rates in the Netherlands are falling spectacularly for the past two decades, thanks to the country's wholesome approach to law enforcement that prefers rehabilitation to incarceration. "The Dutch have a deeply ingrained pragmatism when it comes to regulating law and order," Renι van Swaaningen, a professor of criminology at Erasmus School of Law in Rotterdam told The New York Times. "Prisons are very expensive. Unlike the United States, where people tend to focus on the moral arguments for imprisonment, the Netherlands is more focused on what works and what is effective."
Garrison Keillor: What happened Sunday, in case you missed it
Man does not live by frozen pizza alone. Sunday does not need to be like Saturday or Monday. Turn down the volume, dim the bright flashing lights of ambition, look into your heart, think about the others, one by one. As part of the service, you get to reach around, right, left, forward, back, and say a blessing on them all ("The Peace of God be with you") and when else do you get to do that? Not in the produce section of the supermarket. People need to be blessed. Shouting and sarcasm and insult have not worked, so move on. God loves you, reader. Bless you for coming this far. Go in peace.
Alex Hanton: "6 People Who Broke (Stupid) Laws In The Best Way Possible" (Cracked)
6. A Chilean Artist Burns $500 Million In Student Loan Debt From A Corrupt University
Mike Bedard: 4 Cynical Political Stunts That Backfired Hilariously (Cracked)
4. A Scam Artist Accidentally Proves Journalists Have Integrity
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Some anecdotes are serious rather than funny.
Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka, Kansasi s the Supreme Court ruling that struck down segregation by establishing that "separate" is inherently unequal. If not for this ruling, segregation would most likely still be legal in the U.S. Although the ruling was unanimous in striking down segregation, it possibly could have gone the other way. United States Supreme Court Chief Justice Fred M. Vinson was a conservative Kentuckian whom civil rights lawyer Thurgood Marshall blamed for holding up action on the case. Mr. Marshall worried about Chief Justice Vinson, feeling that he would uphold segregation and convince the other justices to vote against integrating public schools. However - fortunately for civil rights - Chief Justice Vinson told his wife that he had a stomachache, then a short time afterward he died of a heart attack. This allowed Earl Warren to become Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, and he turned out to be an effective advocate for civil rights. The Supreme Court upheld the right of seven-year-old Linda Brown, an African American, to go to a White school a few blocks from her house instead of being forced to travel by bus to a school for "Negroes."
In 1692, the Salem Witch Trials resulted in the hanging of 19 people, mostly women. In addition, a man named Giles Corey was "pressed to death." Mr. Corey had refused to testify at his trial, because he knew that if he testified and was found guilty of being a witch, all his property would legally be seized by the British government. Since no accused person had been found innocent in the trials, he felt that he would definitely be found guilty. However, if he did not testify in court, he could not be found guilty according to the laws of the time, although persons who refused to testify suffered "a punishment hard and severe." Mr. Corey was 80 years old, but his jailors decided to torture him to make him confess. They made him lie down on his back, then they put a board over him and loaded heavy flat stones on the board. Mr. Corey was a man of courage, and he still declined to testify. Eventually, so much weight was placed on him that his rib cage caved in.
John Marshall and the other Supreme Court justices enjoyed a drink now and again - and again and again. However, prompted by reports that people were concerned about their drinking, they decided not to drink during their weekly consultation - unless it was raining. The next time they met, Chief Justice Marshall asked Justice Joseph Story to look out a window to see if it was raining. Justice Story checked, then reported, "Mr. Chief Justice, I have very carefully examined this case, and I have to give it as my opinion that there is not the slightest sign of rain." Since Chief Justice Marshall wanted a drink, he replied, "Justice Story, I think that is the shallowest and most illogical opinion I have ever heard you deliver. You forget that our jurisdiction is as broad as the Republic, and by the laws of nature it must be raining some place in our jurisdiction. Waiter, bring on the rum!"
President Richard Nixon wanted very much to replace liberal Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall with a conservative Justice. However, since Justices are appointed to the Supreme Court for life, the only way he could do this was for Justice Marshall to resign because of ill health or to die. In 1970, a life-threatening case of pneumonia forced Justice Marshall to be hospitalized. President Nixon wanted to see Justice Marshall's medical records, so Justice Marshall signed a release of his records - but only after he wrote on them, "Not Yet!"
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THE SILENCE IS OMINOUS.
AND THE BEAT GOES ON.
HOW TO STOP FASCISM.
QAnon GOES DOWN IN FLAMES!
IMPEACH McCONNELL AND THEN IMPEACH TRUMP!
'THE EARTH IS IN A DEATH SPIRAL.'
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In The Chaos Household
Running late, again.
CBS' Late Show With Stephen Colbert has moved into a tie with NBC's The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon among adults 18-49 for the season so far. Through the first seven weeks of the season (Sept. 24-Nov. 9), the two shows are each averaging a 0.51 rating in the key ad-sales demographic.
Late Show has been tops in total viewers for some time - it currently has a 1.19 million-viewer lead over The Tonight Show - but this season is the first time the two have been tied in the demo since Colbert took over Late Show in September 2015.
Late Show currently has the very smallest of leads in the total number of 18- to 49-year-old viewers, averaging 658,000 for the season to Tonight's 656,000. That, too, is a first for Colbert's show.
At this time a year ago, Tonight had a .07-point lead over Late Show (0.64 to 0.57). Both shows, obviously, are down among adults 18-49 year to year; Colbert is off by 10.5 percent and Fallon by 20 percent. (At 0.4 through Nov. 9, ABC's Jimmy Kimmel Live! has fallen 18 percent year to year from a 0.49.)
Interestingly, Tonight has led Late Show in live-plus-same-day ratings in six of seven weeks so far this season, with only the week of Nov. 5 going to CBS. More people watch Late Show on delay, however, allowing it to close the gap.
Miranda Lambert is up for four honors at Wednesday's 2018 Country Music Association Awards, and she's sold millions of records. By any measure she's a country music star, yet she hadn't had a No. 1 song on the radio charts in more than four years until she collaborated with Jason Aldean on "Drowns the Whiskey," a song that went to the top of the charts three months after it was released.
There was one particular reason for its success on country music radio, as far as Lambert was concerned.
"Yes, I had to sing with someone with a penis to get a number one," she told the Washington Post for a story that notes female artists are woefully underrepresented on country music charts. "I do like this person, Jason Aldean, a lot so it was a great song with an old friend."
Country music has dealt with the issue of gender balance - or, rather, imbalance - for years. In 2015, radio consultant Keith Hill infuriated Lambert and others when he instructed radio stations to limit the percentage of female artists they play to 15 percent of their total programming, if they wanted ratings to rise.
Archaeologists Discover Missing Part
A missing piece of the 2,200-year-old Antikythera Mechanism, which has been called the world's oldest analog computer, is believed to have been found on the Aegean seabed. This primitive computer was invented to help ancient Greeks calculate different astronomical positions, and somehow has managed to survive at sea despite the large number of looters who have appeared on the scene.
As the Daily Beast reports, the Antikythera Mechanism first disappeared 2,200 years ago, after it sunk with the ship that was carrying it near the island of Antikythera. It was then lost to history until 1901, when sponge divers discovered an oddly-shaped green mass in the seabed.
Curious to learn more about their discovery, the sponge divers carried their strange green lump back up to the surface with them. They then gave it over to archaeologist Valerios Stais, who holds residence at the National Archaeological Museum in Athens, to examine.
Scientists now know that this Antikythera Mechanism is able to perform basic mathematical functions - as well as accurately track the movements of many celestial bodies like the sun, moon, planets and constellations. This ancient computer is even able to calculate the timing of equinoxes and eclipses.
After Cousteau's disastrous visit, this part of the Aegean was fairly quiet until 2012, when underwater archaeologists returned once again to examine the site of the ancient wreckage. This was a profoundly rewarding mission, as the archaeologists managed to find bronze and marble statues, coins, a sarcophagus lid, and even furniture on the Aegean seabed.
Christie's Auction Sets Records
An evening of intense and competitive bidding in New York set fifteen records for American painters at Christie's Tuesday night, bringing in more than $317,801,250.
The artworks sold were all from the private collection of Barney Ebsworth, a former travel company executive and art collector who built what would become one of the finest private collections of 20th century American art.
Edward Hopper's iconic 'Chop Suey' sold for a staggering $91,875,000, a new auction record for the category of American Art. Chop Suey, an oil on canvas painted in 1929, is believed by experts to be inspired by Chinese restaurants Hopper visited, both in New York and on his travels.
A Willem de Kooning work, his tour de force, "Woman as Landscape," set a record for the artist, selling for $68,937,500.
Other artists setting records included Alexander Calder, for his standing sculpture woodwork, "Hen," which sold for $8,412,500, Arshile Gorky, Francis Criss, Joseph Stella and George Tooker, for his "A Game of Chess," which sold for $432,000. All the evening's sales were to anonymous buyers.
Giant Meteorite Crater
A giant crater that was formed when a meteorite smashed into Earth, has been uncovered deep below Greenland's ice sheets.
The 31-kilometre-wide cavity was discovered by an international team of scientists who believe it was caused by a "rare" meteorite that struck Earth as recently as 12,000 years ago.
Evidence suggests the crater was formed when a kilometre-wide iron meteorite penetrated seven kilometres into the Earth's crust.
Since then it has been buried under the thick ice of the Hiawatha Glacier in northwest Greenland.
It is the first time ever that an impact crater of any size has been found underneath one of Earth's continental ice sheets.
Newly Uncovered Greek City
Archaeologists have uncovered portions of the ancient Greek city of Tenea, whose residents claimed they were prisoners of the Trojan War, the Greek Ministry of Culture announced this week.
The uncovered parts of the city date back between 300 B.C. and A.D. 400.
Buildings from the town and part of a cemetery containing the burials of two men, five women (one of whom was buried with a child) and two children were uncovered. The burials contain a variety of grave goods, including jewelry made of bone, bronze and gold, as well as vases and coins. An iron ring bearing an image of the god Serapis, a deity revered in both Greece and Egypt, was also discovered in the cemetery
Scholars have known the general location of Tenea since at least the 19th century - it is located near the modern-day village of Chiliomodi - but they have done little scientific excavation at the site.
The ancient Greek historian Pausanias (who lived from A.D. 143 to 176) wrote that residents of Tenea believed that they were the descendants of Trojans who were taken prisoner during the Trojan War. That conflict (if it did occur) happened more than 3,000 years ago. Pausanias claimed that the people of the city honored "Apollo more than any other god" (translation by W.H.S. Jones and H.A. Ormerod). The recent excavations uncovered no remains dating back 3,000 years.
'Once In A Lifetime' Sale
A royal treasure trove including jewels that belonged to French Queen Marie-Antoinette fetched 53.5 million Swiss francs (£41 million) on Wednesday, as collectors snapped up rare historic gems fresh to the market, Sotheby's said.
Held in private European collections for more than 200 years, 10 royal jewels that belonged to the ill-fated Marie Antoinette and were passed down through Italy's royal Bourbon Parma family, featured among 100 lots that all found new owners.
"The Marie Antoinette provenance is probably second to none. It's a record for a sale of royal jewels," David Bennett, chairman of Sotheby's international jewellery division who conducted the Geneva auction, told reporters.
The total exceeded the $50 million at its historic two-day auction of the Duchess of Windsor jewels, held in the Swiss city in 1987.
The collection had a total pre-sale estimate of $4.5 million, but due to the historic provenance, bidding soared by phone, in the sale room and online, to reach many times that.
Katherine MacGregor, best known for her role as Harriet Oleson on Little House on the Prairie, has died. She was 93. MacGregor died Tuesday in Woodland Hills, California, her representative confirmed to NBC News.
MacGregor played the general store owner's wife Harriet Oleson on all nine seasons of the 1970s series. Her favorite description of the character came in a fan letter from Minnesota in the 1970s, in which Mrs. Oleson was described as "the touch of pepper in the sweetness of the show".
Prior to Little House, MacGregor appeared on stage on and off Broadway in New York and other state's productions including The Seven Year Itch and Handful of Fire. She also appeared in various television series including Love of Life (1956), Play of the Week (1959), East Side/West Side (1963), Mannix, Emergency!, Ironside, and All in the Family. She also had roles in TV movies including The Death of Me Yet (1971), The Girls of Huntington House (1973), and Tell Me Where It Hurts (1974).
After Little House wrapped its run, MacGregor mainly returned to local theater, opting to work onstage in favor of TV and film work.