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To the moon, National Pickle Day, Kneel Before Zod-, er, Trump
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Published Monday, November 14, 2016 @ 12:19 AM EST
Nov 14 2016

Today is Monday, November 14, the 319th day of 2016, with 47 days remaining. There are 10 days until Thanksgiving, 37 days until the winter solstice, 40 days until Festivus, 41 days until the start of Hanukkah, 42 days until Christmas Day, and 68 days until Donald Trump becomes president of the United States.

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"Steely-eyed missile man" John Aaron, who saved the launch of Apollo 12.

On this day in 1969, Apollo 12 was launched, the second manned mission to land on the moon. During launch, the Saturn V launch vehicle was struck by lightning. The flight risked being aborted, but was saved by the quick thinking of then 26-year-old NASA engineer and flight controller John Aaron, who later played a major role in the safe return to earth of Apollo 13, earning him the complimentary appellation of "a steely-eyed missile man".

The recreation, from Tom Hanks' HBO documentary series, From the Earth to the Moon:

(Incidentally, YouTube has scores of actual recordings of a number of flights, including the critical hours after the explosion on Apollo 13. Fascinating listening, even if you're not a space geek.)

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Among other things, today is also National Pickle Day.

Considering the events of the past week, here's a good reason to pucker up, America.

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Police: White powder in navel gives away Florida man as drug user. Another indicator? He began "violently jamming his head against the Plexiglas partition in the patrol car."

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As of this writing, The KGB Quotations Database contains 41,399 entries. Check it out.

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Former secretary of state Condoleezza Rice was born on this date in 1954. The following isn't in the quotes database, but let's remember this April 8, 2004 testimony before the 9/11 Commission:

Condoleezza Rice: But I don't remember the al-Qaeda cells as being something that we were told we needed to do something about.

Richard Ben-Veniste: Isn't it a fact, Dr. Rice, that the August 6 PDB [Presidential Daily Briefing] warned against possible attacks in this country? And I ask you whether you recall the title of that PDB?

Condoleezza Rice: I believe the title was, Bin Laden Determined to Attack Inside the United States.

Some other persons born on November 14 who said memorable things:
Charles, Prince of Wales , the eldest child and heir apparent of Queen Elizabeth II; Aaron Copland, American composer, composition teacher, writer; Quentin Crewe, English journalist, author, restaurateur and adventurer; Boutros-Boutros Ghali, Egyptian politician and diplomat, sixth Secretary-General of the United Nations; Astrid Lindgren, Swedish writer, creator of Pippi Longstocking; Marya Mannes, American author and critic; Claude Monet, founder of French Impressionist painting; Jawaharlal Nehru, the first Prime Minister of India; P.J. O'Rourke, American political satirist and journalist; and Condoleeza Rice, American political scientist and diplomat, former U.S. Secretary of State.

Quote of the day:
"A lot of people out there think Easy Rider had a happy ending."
-P.J. O'Rourke"

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Uh.... Kneel before Zod?

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A federal judge has ordered Amazon to refund in-app purchases made by children. The FTC estimated that parents were charged upwards of $86 million, and had asked for $26.5 million in damages from the company. U.S. District Judge John Coughenour rejected this lump sum payment, noting that reimbursements will help in "placing liability on Amazon." However, the judge rejected Amazon’s request to reimburse parents with gift cards.

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Washington, DC-based professor Allan Lichtman, who used a historically based system of what he calls "keys" to predict the election of Donald Trump, at the same time made another prediction- that if elected, Trump would eventually be impeached by a Republican Congress that would prefer a President Mike Pence- someone whom establishment Republicans know and trust.

"I'm quite certain," the professor said, "Trump will give someone grounds for impeachment, either by doing something that endangers national security or because it helps his pocketbook."

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I wish I could give the person who wrote this proper credit, but it popped up on several social media sites without attribution:

For all the people who are reminding us of how the conservative world lost its shit after Obama won both times, I'd like to just ask you to stop right there with your false equivalence.

I don't recall Obama saying he wanted a blanket ban of followers of any particular religion. I don't recall Obama ever mocking disabled people. I don't recall Obama demonizing Hispanics and calling Mexicans rapists or murderers. I don't recall Obama being accused of sexual misconduct, or business malfeasance, or refusing to release his taxes. I don't recall Obama promising to remove protection of law from the LGBT community.

Just stop trying to equate the two situations because they're not the same. Not even close. We aren't making things up like saying he's from Kenya or he's gonna take all our guns. We are repeating what he himself has said he will do in his own words.

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Actor Robert Vaughn, who passed away last week at the age of 83 and is best known for portraying secret agent Napoleon Solo on The Man from U.N.C.L.E., led a fascinating life, including earning a Ph.D. in communications from the University of Southern California in 1970. In 1972, he published his dissertation as the book Only Victims: A Study of Show Business Blacklisting. Vaughn was the first popular American actor to take a public stand against the Vietnam War, and debated William F. Buckley on the subject on the latter's Firing Line television show, where his knowledge on the subject was surprisingly encyclopedic. He discusses his life at length on the Emmy TV Legends website, a place where you can literally lose hours and days listening to the interviews.

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The War on Christmas, 2016: Hanukkah 2016 begins in the evening of Saturday, December 24 and ends in the evening of Sunday, January 1. So you can legitimately say "Happy Holidays" until New Years Day!

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Pakistani news channel claims Donald Trump was born in Pakistan as Dawood Ibrahim Khan. The channel's source was social media postings, but hey, we all good use a good giggle.

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