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this week in cartoons: i spy with my microwave eye, nat’l endowment for the trum


this week in cartoons: i spy with my microwave eye, nat’l endowment for the trumps, gorsuch’s *back to storyrestart gallery






february 03, 2017 – the mercury news


tribune content agency(c)2017 tribune content agency, llc.“you’re the world’s worst procrastinator,” i told cy the cynic. “don’t deny it.”“i’m no procrastinator,” cy growled. “i just haven’t finished doing nothing yet.”cy would put off his own funeral. the only time his delaying tactics are helpful is when he is declarer. cy knows the benefits of waiting to draw trumps.against today’s four hearts, west leads a diamond to dummy’s ace. say declarer draws trumps and starts the spades. when they break 4-1, he needs a club trick. he concedes a club, ruffs the diamond return and concedes a club. but then another diamond forces out declarer’s last trump, and the defense cashes diamonds when they win the third club.second tricksince bad breaks may be troublesome, south should wait to draw trumps a






dev patel expresses his views on donald trumps us muslim travel ban


dev patel expresses his views on donald trumps us muslim travel banthe internet has been taken by storm since the us president donald trump announced the travel ban on muslims nationals from across 7 islamic countries to enter the usa upon which a lot of people including hollywood stars protested. slumdog millionaire star; dev patel, who has earned an oscar nomination for his role in lion, which is a humanitarian film, said he found this ban "utterly devastating”. at a recent award function he said, "at times like this, you're constantly questioning what you're doing at awards like this or promoting a movie. it feels so pointless. i look to the people around me and they remind me the message of this film (lion), of the art we’re trying to inject into the world right now. it's about unifica






april 1, 2017 – the mercury news


tribune content agency(c)2017 tribune content agency, llc.“simple saturday” columns are meant to help aspiring players improve technique and develop logical thinking.anyone can take tricks with aces and kings. an enlightened declarer knows how to manipulate the low cards.you’re declarer at four hearts. when west leads the ten of diamonds, you take the king. the contract looks easy, but when you cash the ace of trumps, west discards a spade. how do you continue?club tricksyou can draw trumps and lead a spade to dummy’s king, but if east takes the ace and exits with a diamond, you must try to reach dummy with the king of clubs. if the clubs lie badly, you may lose three club tricks.lead a spade at trick three. east wins and leads another diamond, and you win and lead the deuce of trumps to d






february 08, 2017 – the mercury news


tribune content agency(c)2017 tribune content agency, llc.cy the cynic showed me today’s deal from a duplicate event that he and his partner had lost by a whisker.“i know you think i’m too hard on my partners,” cy said, “but even i was sympathetic here.”cy was north, and south had played at four spades.“the contract was normal,” cy told me. “every north-south would be there. so my partner wanted overtricks. he took the ace of hearts and chose to cash the ace of trumps. next he overtook the queen of clubs with the ace and discarded a heart on the king. and west ruffed … with the king of trumps.”finesse“west then took his jack of hearts,” the cynic went on, “and led the nine of diamonds. my partner wasn’t eager to finesse, and if west had no more trumps, he didn’t need to. so he took the ace






february 09, 2017 – the mercury news


tribune content agency(c)2017 tribune content agency, llc.cy the cynic showed me today’s deal from a duplicate event that he and his partner had lost by a whisker.“i know you think i’m too hard on my partners,” cy said, “but even i was sympathetic here.”cy was north, and south had played at four spades.“the contract was normal,” cy told me. “every north-south would be there. so my partner wanted overtricks. he took the ace of hearts and chose to cash the ace of trumps. next he overtook the queen of clubs with the ace and discarded a heart on the king. and west ruffed … with the king of trumps.”finesse“west then took his jack of hearts,” the cynic went on, “and led the nine of diamonds. my partner wasn’t eager to finesse, and if west had no more trumps, he didn’t need to. so he took the ace






march 23, 2017 – the mercury news


tribune content agency(c)2017 tribune content agency, llc.cy the cynic, a believer in murphy’s law (“whatever can go wrong, will“), says that not only do two wrongs not make a right, the two wrongs are probably just the beginning.when today’s south opened three spades, cy, north, put him in six. south won the heart lead and took the king of trumps. to his annoyance, east showed out.south next took the ace of clubs, drew trumps and led another club. when west discarded, south took the king and led the jack, but east played low. south took the ace of diamonds and ruffed a diamond with his last trump to get back to his hand, but east won the last two tricks with the queen of clubs and king of hearts.down one as cy watched resignedly.high clubscy’s bid was fine, but south committed two wrongs.






february 26, 2017 – the mercury news


tribune content agency(c)2017 tribune content agency, llc.when i watched today’s deal in a rubber game at my club, north-south were a dentist and a manicurist — a pair we call “tooth and nail” because that’s how they argue.east-west bid to three clubs. when nail went to three hearts, tooth pushed on to game. nail won the first club with the king and led a trump to her king, and west happily took the ace, jack and queen. nail won the next club and cashed her remaining trumps, but east clung to his diamonds. so nail lost a diamond and a spade for down two.then came the inevitable “discussion“:nail: “why did you bid four hearts? my three hearts was strictly competitive.”tooth: “i had maximum values for my raise to two hearts. my king of clubs behind the club overcaller looked to be worth as m






february 27, 2017 – the mercury news


tribune content agency(c)2017 tribune content agency, llc.“a friend of mine thinks he may be a direct descendent of quasimodo. but it’s just a hunch.” — graffitiat today’s four hearts, south took the ace of clubs and let the jack of trumps ride. west won and led a second club to dummy. south then drew trumps, cashed the ace of diamonds and led a diamond to dummy’s jack.when east took the queen, he led a low spade, and south had to guess. he went wrong by playing low, and west took the queen and returned a spade for down one.finesse“i had a hunch that the diamond finesse would work,” south said.“did you also have one about the way the spade honors lay?” north growled. “you need to do something about your hunches.”after south wins the second club, he can lead dummy’s jack of spades. suppose






trump sons, planning expansion of family business, look to leverage campaign exp


donald trump's adult sons, who are overseeing a nationwide expansion of the family business during their father's presidency, are envisioning ways that their experiences from the campaign trail can help them establish a footing in dozens of new markets.the idea is to move beyond a focus on luxury hotels in big metropolises and build boutique properties in a broader mix of cities, including some the trump brothers came to know well during more than a year of intensive travel, fundraising and grass-roots networking on the road to the white house."i got to see a lot of those markets on the campaign," donald trump jr., the president's eldest son, told the washington post in a recent interview from his office on the 25th floor of trump tower. "i think i've probably been in all of them over the






love trumps hate download


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february 11, 2017 – the mercury news


tribune content agency(c)2017 tribune content agency, llc.“simple saturday” columns are meant to help aspiring players improve technique and develop logical thinking.players learn certain practices in defensive play: for example, the correct card to lead to a trick. but rules will take you only so far.west leads the deuce of clubs against four hearts. east takes the ace and knows declarer has club losers. he can’t use dummy’s diamonds for discards, and if he gets discards on dummy’s high spades, east can’t help that. but east can reduce dummy’s ruffing power, so he must shift to trumps.high trumpa defensive “rule” tells east to lead the ten, the higher card of his doubleton, but there is no reason to waste a high trump. east must lead the deuce.west will take declarer’s king and should tru






3 new sassy trumps to take your mind off america's never-ending bad trip / boing


you’ve already made the smart choice (as boing boing did before you) by enlisting wordpress for your website. what you may lack, however, is the html, css, javascript, and, well every other coding proficiency to make your site pretty. that’s alright. don’t hire the kid next door, he smells funny. instead, use your resourcefulness and […]






march 05, 2017 – the mercury news


tribune content agency(c)2017 tribune content agency, llc.“we had him, you fool, and you let him get away,” the sheriff of nottingham railed at the hapless sir guy of gisburne.the two were opposed by little john and robin hood, today’s north-south, in a castle tournament. when robin hood bid two hearts, little john scraped up a raise to three, and robin went on to game because of his strong trumps.the sheriff, sitting west, led the queen of clubs, winning. robin ruffed the third club and started on the spades. he took the ace, ruffed a spade in dummy, led a trump to his hand and ruffed a second spade.gisburne, east, triumphantly overruffed with his jack. he shifted to a diamond, but robin took dummy’s ace, drew east’s last trump and ruffed another spade, establishing the long spades. he st






march 2, 2017 – the mercury news


tribune content agency(c)2017 tribune content agency, llc.“i’m afraid i’m getting old,” a club player told me. “pretty soon, the bank is going to start sending me calendars one month at a time. and my play is showing my age.”as we get older, we retain our knowledge of technique, but our focus may weaken a bit. (i’m finding it’s the same way at golf.) my friend told me that he was west in today’s deal and led the ace of spades against south’s five clubs. (perhaps north should have passed three clubs; his king of spades looked wasted.)low diamond“i shifted to a heart,” west said, “and declarer captured my partner’s king. he took the a-k of diamonds and led a low diamond. i discarded a spade, and declarer ruffed in dummy — and threw his heart loser on the king of spades. he forced out my ace






march 13, 2017 – the mercury news


tribune content agency(c)2017 tribune content agency, llc.i don’t care for south’s opening bid of four hearts. south had defensive values as well as possible losers in his suit. east had passed, so the urgency to preempt wasn’t as great.as it happened, east-west could make one club but nothing else, so south had to make four hearts to show a profit. north produced a sterling dummy, but when west led the queen of trumps, south took the a-k (west played the ten) and led a third trump, hoping for a 3-3 break. west won and shifted to the four of clubs, and when east took the ace, he shifted in turn to a spade.third diamonddeclarer won with dummy’s ace and started the diamonds, but west ruffed the third diamond and cashed a spade. down one.south’s opening bid was a matter of judgment, but his p






march 12, 2017 – the mercury news


tribune content agency(c)2017 tribune content agency, llc.“i see you did a week of columns on combining chances as declarer,” unlucky louie said to me in the club lounge. “that’s all well and good — for most people. but if i had 50 chances, none would work.”in his penny game, louie was declarer at today’s slam. west led a trump, and louie drew trumps, pitching a spade and a club from dummy. east threw spades.“i led a diamond to dummy’s ace next and tried a spade finesse with the queen,” louie told me. “west took the king and returned a diamond, and i took the king and queen, discarding a club. if the suit had split evenly, i was home. but west threw a club.“i still had one chance left,” louie said. “i finessed with the queen of clubs. down one. maybe if i’d had two or three more chances, i






february 25, 2017 – the mercury news


tribune content agency(c)2017 tribune content agency, llc.“simple saturday” columns are meant to help aspiring players improve technique and develop logical thinking.when i visited the birmingham (ala.) duplicate bridge club, a player asked about my thought process as declarer when dummy appears. i begin by counting winners — maybe losers — and consider how i can develop extra winners or avoid losers.then i go on to consider technical aspects of the play: preserving entries, perhaps. next i visualize how the defenders’ cards may lie. declarers have much to think about.first clubat today’s slam, south must not finesse on the first club; he can count 12 tricks. he takes the ace and cashes the ace of trumps. next he takes the a-k of diamonds, pitching a club from dummy, and the a-k of hearts.






a trump tax return revealed -- here's what accountants think of it


a leaked copy of donald trump’s 2005 tax return shows that he and his wife melania would have paid very little in federal income taxes that year. but his final income tax rate ended up being 24 percent due to a supplemental tax for the wealthy designed to ensure their use of loopholes doesn’t totally eliminate what they owe, according to a review of the document by accountants for cbs moneywatch.mr. trump’s basic tax return from 2005 -- a two-page form 1040 that summarizes his return -- was made public by msnbc’s rachel maddow tuesday night. it showed that the trumps paid an effective income tax rate of 24 percent, far below the top 35 percent rate at the time that a billionaire would presumably have been paying. but if they didn’t have to pay the supplemental tax, they would have forked o






joy behar claims melania trump is being held hostage


melania trump has seemingly been reluctant to take on her new role as first lady of the united states, and daytime talk show hosts have certainly taken note. comedian joy behar took her critiques of the first family to a new level during tuesday’s show, accusing the trumps of faking their marriage and purporting the president…






march 30, 2017 – the mercury news


tribune content agency(c)2017 tribune content agency, llc.cy the cynic says it’s only human to make mistakes, but some of us are more human than others.in today’s deal, east took the queen of hearts and led a trump. south won, led a club to the ace and returned the king of hearts: ace, ruff. the ten would furnish a diamond discard.no fatal errors yet, but south next led the king and a third club. east won and led a fourth club to let west score his queen of trumps, and east also got a trump trick. down one.high trumpsouth couldn’t succeed by taking the a-k of trumps, then losing a club. east could cash his high trump and a second club. instead, south can concede a club at trick three.south wins east’s trump return, leads a club to the ace and ruffs out east’s ace of hearts. south then lead






march 22, 2017 – the mercury news


tribune content agency(c)2017 tribune content agency, llc.today’s north was the dreaded grapefruit, our club member with a temperament like an untipped waiter. he berates his partners without mercy.at four hearts, south ruffed the third diamond, drew trumps, cashed the ace of spades and finessed confidently with dummy’s jack. he was dismayed when east produced the queen and led a club. declarer’s queen lost to the king — down one — and grapefruit announced that if brains were lard, south couldn’t grease a pan.“you’re nuts,” south roared. “west overcalled in spades, and i shouldn’t play him for the queen?”grapefruit told the kibitzers that if south were any slower, he would have to speed up to stop.10 tricksafter south draws trumps, he can take the a-k of spades. when the queen falls, he ha






march 21, 2017 – the mercury news


tribune content agency(c)2017 tribune content agency, llc.“i know of two times to lead trumps,” a club player told me: “when you want to stop declarer from crossruffing, and when you have no clue what to lead.”“when in doubt, lead trumps” is an old saw, but it’s a rare deal where no other lead will be attractive or clearly indicated. in today’s deal, north’s bidding showed a fair hand with heart support but no liking for spades. west’s opening lead was … a trump.club trickssouth won and swiftly took three club tricks to pitch a diamond. he next led a spade: king, ace, three. east won the next spade and led another trump, and west took the ace and shifted to the queen of diamonds. south ruffed the second diamond, drew west’s last trump and took the rest, making four.after north-south’s auct






march 03, 2017 – the mercury news


tribune content agency(c)2017 tribune content agency, llc.when i watched today’s deal in a duplicate game, my friend the english professor was west. south was a visitor to our club who may have arrived on a turnip truck. he wore suspenders and brandished a corncob pipe.at six clubs the newcomer took the ace of hearts, drew trumps and cashed the a-k of spades. when east discarded, declarer grumpily conceded down one.“a major-suit squeeze ‘without the count’ makes it,” the prof noted.“i ain’t got none of that book learnin’,” south growled.“that’s a double negative,” the prof said. “but i believe you.”early spadesouth can’t succeed by conceding an early spade; west will lead a second heart to break up a squeeze. but if south runs his trumps, west must discard diamonds to save four spades and






march 09, 2017 – the mercury news


tribune content agency(c)2017 tribune content agency, llc.i continue a week of columns on combining chances as declarer. you may have several chances for your contract, but some are harder to spot than others.in today’s deal, north’s “splinter” response of four clubs promised club shortness, heart support and slam interest. when west led a club against six hearts, south took the ace, pitching a spade from dummy. he drew trumps and attacked the diamonds by leading low to the nine. he would have been safe if west had held the ten plus the king or queen, but as it was, south lost two diamonds.could you spot an extra chance and do better?trick onesouth booted the slam at trick one. he can ruff the opening lead in dummy, discard a diamond on the ace of spades and ruff a spade. he ruffs the jack






march 24, 2017 – the mercury news


tribune content agency(c)2017 tribune content agency, llc.if 666 is the number of ultimate evil, is 25.8069 the root of all evil?you don’t need to calculate square roots to play the dummy well, but a basic knowledge of percentages helps. against four spades, west led the k-a and a low heart (not best). south ruffed and took the a-k of trumps.when west discarded, south tried dummy’s top diamonds, but on the third diamond east discarded a club. (if he ruffed, he would end-play himself.) south threw a club but had to ruff the fourth diamond. he lost a club plus a trump.finesseafter south ruffs the third heart, his percentage play is to take the ace of trumps, lead a diamond to dummy and return a second trump. when east follows low, south plays the jack.as the cards lie, south is home, but if






australia reacts to dutch and danish trump videos


in response to trumps calls of “america first,” the dutch suggested they should be considered second. the danes responded quickly after that, saying that they should be second. here’s australia’s response.full story at youtube.more great vids. posted by josh urich






february 28, 2017 – the mercury news


tribune content agency(c)2017 tribune content agency, llc.another letter arrived from the society of finessers, chastising me because (according to them) finesses always lose in my columns.“dear sir: we must again condemn your disdain for the finesse, an honorable technique that wins fully half the time — except in your deals.”the society used to “protest.” now they “condemn.” i fear they won’t like today’s deal. at four hearts, south took the ace of spades, drew trumps and led a diamond from dummy: eight, nine, jack. west shifted to a club — queen, king — and west got two more diamonds for down one.assuming south shares my disdain for finesses, how should he play?last spadeafter south draws trumps, he discards a club from dummy on his king of spades, ruffs his last spade, cashes the ace o






3 new sassy trumps to take your mind off america's never-ending bad trip / boing


wireless headphones aren’t a mind-bending thing anymore now that apple made them the standard thing-to-be-outraged-over-in-the-new-iphone fare, thereby killing the cool factor. but let’s be reasonable here. wires really are a pain when you’re running, trying to get off the bus, or even just standing up from your desk. wireless headphones make sense, they just don’t […]






march 16, 2017 – the mercury news


tribune content agency(c)2017 tribune content agency, llc.“it’s a wonder he didn’t bid six,” unlucky louie grumbled.louie meant the player we call harlow the halo. while the fates conspire against louie, good luck follows harlow like a large, friendly dog. his finesses always win, his errors never cost.in a team match, both louie and harlow played at four hearts. harlow took the ace of spades and led a club to his king and a diamond to dummy’s jack, winning both finesses. he gave up a club, won the trump return, ruffed a club and drew trumps. when diamonds broke 3-3, he got a discard for his last club. making six.better playlouie found a better play to assure the contract. he ruffed a spade at trick two, led a diamond to dummy, ruffed a spade high, led a diamond to dummy and ruffed a spade






lawmaker: documents show trump aide hid payments from pro-moscow ukraine party


andrea manafort also portrayed her father as being at the center of trump's campaign, texting a friend in april that he was trump's "right hand man," one posted message said."he's super tight w the trumps. all the kids call him all the time," she wrote, according to the messages posted online.roth reported from kiev, ukraine. devlin barrett contributed to this report.






documents show trump aide laundered payments from pro-moscow party, ukrainian la


andrea manafort also portrayed her father as being at the center of trump's campaign, texting a friend in april that he was trump's "right hand man," one posted message said."he's super tight w the trumps. all the kids call him all the time," she wrote, according to the messages posted online.roth reported from kiev, ukraine. devlin barrett contributed to this report.






documents show trump aide laundered payments from party with moscow ties, lawmak


andrea manafort also portrayed her father as being at the center of trump's campaign, texting a friend in april that he was trump's "right hand man," one posted message said."he's super tight w the trumps. all the kids call him all the time," she wrote, according to the messages posted online.roth reported from kiev, ukraine. devlin barrett contributed to this report.






john oliver on trump vs reality


you don’t have to be a news junkie to realize that donald trump has something of a truth problem. take a look at john oliver’s investigation into trumps tussle with truth.full story at youtube.more politics. posted by josh urich






protesters gather at city hall for 'not my president's day' rally


several hundred protesters gathered in front of los angeles city hall today to express their displeasure with president trump as part of a “not my president's day” rally, which was one of several held in cities across the country. some people raised signs — such as "not my president" and “love trumps hate” — while others held up a large american flag.






melania trump hosts japan's first lady


first lady melania trump and akie abe, wife of japanese prime minister shinzo abe, toured the morikami museum and japanese gardens in delray beach, florida, while their husbands spent the morning on the golf course.the trumps planned to host a more formal delegation dinner with the abes on saturday night.click here if you are having trouble viewing the photo gallery on your mobile device.






february 02, 2017 – the mercury news


tribune content agency(c)2017 tribune content agency, llc.cy the cynic says the toughest part of dieting is not watching what you eat, it’s watching what other people eat.i suspect cy thinks a tough part of bridge is watching his partners play the dummy. as today’s north, cy tried for slam over south’s jump to three hearts, and south went on. when west led the queen of clubs, south took the a-k to pitch a diamond. he drew trumps and led the jack of diamonds: queen, king, ace.south ruffed the next diamond, led a spade to the king and finessed with his jack. west took the queen for down one, and the cynic headed for the bar.last spadei can’t blame cy for being disconcerted. after south wins trick one, he can draw trumps, then take the a-k of spades. when east-west follow low, south discards






february 06, 2017 – the mercury news


tribune content agency(c)2017 tribune content agency, llc.the storied partnership of jeff meckstroth-eric rodwell dominated the acbl’s fall nabc in orlando. after winning the senior teams, “meckwell,” as they are known, were “dropped in” to the field (at the rear of the pack) in the semifinal of the blue ribbon pairs and roared to victory there.meckwell justified their reputation for bold bidding as today’s east-west. rodwell’s two-diamond overcall, vulnerable against not vulnerable, wouldn’t have appealed to many players. after south’s double conventionally showed three-card spade support, meckwell (two p ed hands!) bid to five diamonds, and north hastened to double.shaperodwell would have been plus 750, losing only two trumps. but south, maybe reflecting that experts who bid a lot at “re






why verizon decided to still buy yahoo after big data breaches


in pushing ahead with its deal to buy yahoo inc.’s internet businesses, verizon communications inc. is betting that the chance to expand into digital advertising trumps the risk of further fallout from massive data breaches.the companies said tuesday that they had agreed to revise the $4.83 billion deal, shaving $350 million off the price and evenly splitting costs from the breaches.the announcement caps a scramble to hold...