Blogs

Jon Stewart Picked a Good Time to Retire From the Daily Show

| Wed Feb. 11, 2015 10:49 AM EST

I guess I'm curious about something. How many of you think Jon Stewart made the right decision stepping down from the Daily Show? I'm reluctant to say this because I've long been such a pretty devoted follower, but the truth is that Marian and I gradually stopped watching him last year. It wasn't any single thing, or any big change in what he did. It was just a growing sense that we weren't really laughing as much as we used to. There were still good bits, and the correspondents still had their moments, but they were fewer and farther between than in the past.

Are there others who feel the same way? I don't want to turn this thread into a pile-on, especially if you happen to be someone who's never liked Stewart's brand of comedy. I've always been a big fan. But over the past year he seems to have lost a lot of his edge. Or is it just me?

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Montana GOP Legislator Wants to Ban Yoga Pants

| Wed Feb. 11, 2015 10:46 AM EST

Montana Republican state Rep. David Moore has a plan to guide America out of the darkness—ban yoga pants.

Moore, who is upset that group of naked bicyclists pedaled through Missoula last year, decided that what his state really needs right now is tighter regulations on trousers. His proposed bill, HB 365, would outlaw not just nudity, but also "any device, costume, or covering that gives the appearance of or simulates the genitals, pubic hair, anus region, or pubic hair region." Per the Billings Gazette:

The Republican from Missoula said tight-fitting beige clothing could be considered indecent exposure under his proposal.

"Yoga pants should be illegal in public anyway," Moore said after the hearing.

Moore said he wouldn’t have a problem with people being arrested for wearing provocative clothing but that he'd trust law enforcement officials to use their discretion. He couldn’t be sure whether police would act on that provision or if Montana residents would challenge it.

"I don't have a crystal ball," Moore said.

Merlin's pants! According to the Great Falls Tribune, Moore elaborated that he also believes Speedos should be illegal.

HB 365 continues a miraculous stretch for the Montana legislature. Just last December the Republican-controlled legislature issued new dress-code guidelines for the state capitol, advising women that they should "should be sensitive to skirt lengths and necklines."

Update: Moore's bill has been tabled.

Man Arrested for Fatal Shootings of Three Muslim Students Near University of North Carolina

| Wed Feb. 11, 2015 10:27 AM EST
Chapel Hill police officers investigate the scene of three murders near Summerwalk Circle in Chapel Hill, N.C.

Update, February 11, 2015, 11:24 a.m.: In a statement, police say the shootings may have stemmed from a parking dispute. "Our preliminary investigation indicates that the crime was motivated by an ongoing neighbor dispute over parking. Hicks is cooperating with investigators," a police spokesman said Wednesday.

A 46-year-old man was arrested for the fatal shootings of three Muslim students inside an apartment complex near the University of North Carolina on Tuesday. 

Police say Craig Hicks was charged with three counts of first-degree murder. The victims are Deah Barakat, his wife Yusor Abu-Salha, and her sister Razan Mohammad Abu-Salha. The sisters were reportedly enrolled at North Carolina State University; Barakat was a student at Chapel Hill's school of dentistry.

 

Spencer turned himself into police Tuesday night "without incident," according to Chatham County Sgt. Kevin Carey. While officials are still investigating a motive behind the murders, news of the students' deaths quickly sparked alarm over concerns of racial bias. The hashtag #MuslimLivesMatter was also created.

 

On Wednesday, the Council on American-Islamic Relations urged police to investigate the murders as a possible hate crime. An official statement from the council specifically addressed Spencer's Facebook account, in which he allegedly called himself an "anti-theist" and spoke out against "radical Christians and radical Muslims."

"Based on the brutal nature of this crime, the past anti-religion statements of the alleged perpetrator, the religious attire of two of the victims, and the rising anti-Muslim rhetoric in American society, we urge state and federal law enforcement authorities to quickly address speculation of a possible bias motive in this case," CAIR National Executive Director Nihad Awad said in the statement.

"Our heartfelt condolences go to the families and loved ones of the victims and to the local community."

Correction: An earlier version of this story misstated the alleged shooter's name. This has since been corrected.

Watch an Emotional Jon Stewart Announce He's Leaving "The Daily Show"

| Wed Feb. 11, 2015 8:49 AM EST

During Tuesday's recording of "The Daily Show," Jon Stewart revealed to a rather shocked audience that after 16 years he would be exiting the show sometime later this year. Word of his notice quickly leaked on social media, which resulted in an official statement confirming the news from Comedy Central.

The episode aired in the evening and it was nothing short of the ever-earnest, personal message Stewart consistently provided for his viewers every night. His farewell sums up exactly why we'll miss him so much. Watch the announcement below:

Personal Health Update

| Wed Feb. 11, 2015 12:46 AM EST

I got back my final lab results today. We were mainly looking for two things. First, the volume of the antibody that corresponds to the particular type of blood plasma cell that had become cancerous. In my case, that's the IgG antibody, and over the course of the chemotherapy its volume has fallen from 6200 to 1580. This puts it—barely!—within the normal range. Second, the level of a protein marker that tells us what percentage of my plasma cells are healthy vs. cancerous. This has gone down from 4.2 to 1.18. Ideally I think it would be closer to zero than that, but it's still a pretty good number.

Bottom line: the first stage of my chemotherapy has been successful and is now over. Hooray! The side effects are going to linger for a while, but hopefully not for more than a month or so. At that point, I'll be ready for stage 2, which is an autologous stem cell transplant—that is, a procedure in which they draw out stem cells from my blood and then transplant them back into my body later. You can google the gory details if you really want them.

That will all happen in about a month or so, and will probably put me out of commission for a couple of weeks. In the meantime, I get several weeks of recovery time along with a whole bunch of pre-op workups. Should be loads of fun.

But the important thing is that stage 1 is over and I'm basically in remission. I'm now crossing my fingers and hoping that stage 2 is equally successful.

Elizabeth Warren Just Explained in One Tweet Why We'll Miss Jon Stewart So Much

| Tue Feb. 10, 2015 8:34 PM EST

The senior senator from Massachusetts puts it better than most:

Hear, hear.

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One Perfect Tweet Demonstrates How Utterly Ridiculous the World Is

| Tue Feb. 10, 2015 8:13 PM EST

Brian Williams is being suspended without pay from NBC for 6 months. ThinkProgress' Ian Millhiser summed it up perfectly:

This Was Jon Stewart's Best Moment

| Tue Feb. 10, 2015 7:13 PM EST

Jon Stewart is leaving the Daily Show later this year. Here is the time he went on Crossfire and destroyed, well, Crossfire.

Jon Stewart Is Leaving "The Daily Show"

| Tue Feb. 10, 2015 6:55 PM EST

Update: Here is Jon Stewart's announcement:

Original post below

Jon Stewart reportedly surprised Daily Show audience members tonight by announcing his retirement from the comedy show he has hosted for more than 15 years. The announcement hasn't been made official but many of those in attendance have taken to social media to share the news.

Tonight's episode airs at 11pm ET on Comedy Central.

Update: Comedy Central just amde it official with the following statement. "Jon will remain at the helm of The Daily Show until later this year."

This is a developing story. We'll update when more news becomes available.

Here's What Boston's Record-Setting Snowfall Looks Like

| Tue Feb. 10, 2015 4:43 PM EST

In the past two weeks, Boston has been hit by three separate snowstorms that have dumped a combined total of more than 70 inches of snow on the city. The storms have shattered Boston's previous record—set back in 1978—for most snowfall in a 30-day period.

The historic snowfall has virtually paralyzed the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority, the oldest transit system in the country, forcing the agency to declare a state of emergency. Roof collapses have been reported throughout the area and the city's public school system has been closed for eight days, as of Tuesday.

The relentless snowfall is showing no signs letting up either, with another storm forecasted for the area this Thursday.

Steven Senne/AP
Stefan Rousseau/PA Wire/AP

While city plows have been working round-the-clock to clear the snow—more than 130,000 combine hours according to the Department of Public Works—the city is still struggling with what to do with the excess. On Monday, Boston Mayor Marty Walsh indicated that the snow might be dumped into Boston's harbor, a move that some experts warned could have environmental consequences.