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R.I.P. James Gandolfini

James Gandolfini, forever loved as Tony Soprano, died today at age 51 while on vacation in Rome. The cause of death has not been released, but the LA Times reports he may have suffered a heart attack or a stroke. [Added: The Daily News reports he suffered a massive heart attack.)

What a shock, and how sad. Our condolences to his family and friends.

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American Idol Finale

Despite it being a boring season, I thought Candace Glover knocked it out of the park tonight with "I (Who Have Nothing)."

On a related note, Shakira and Usher are probably leaving the Voice. Christina Aguillera is returning, and probably Cee Lo Green too. I like the show better with Shakira and Usher.

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Jon Stewart on Nancy Grace and the Arias Trial

Funny and apt.Starts about 1 minute in.

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Obama at the White House Correspondents Dinner

President Obama is about to take the stage at the White House Correspondents Dinner. Michelle looks great as usual.

Big Media blew a lot of stories this year, especially in the early reporting days of major events -- like Adam Lanza and the Boston bomb suspect. They are like a big echo chamber, with too many of them citing each other instead of doing original reporting.

Nevertheless, tonight's their night, and I'll probably watch some of it. Is anyone else here watching?

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Bon Jovi Denver Wrap-Up

Bon Jovi lived up to all expectations and then some. Our seats were great. Here's some photos the TL kid took:

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Tuesday Open Thread: Concert Time

One of my favorite Bon Jovi concerts to watch -- Live Earth in 2007 -- I don't think I've ever seen Al Gore get so excited.

I only uploaded the first 25 seconds because the music is copyrighted. But you can view the whole thing on You Tube. For videos from the current tour, check out JoviGirl1983

The TL kid will be here in an hour so I'm off to get ready. I know there's lots of news today, but it will have to wait until tomorrow for me.

This is an open thread, all topics welcome.

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One More Day, Bon Jovi in Denver

If anyone besides me was worried that the big snowstorm Denver is getting today and tomorrow will interfere with Bon Jovi's arrival for tomorrow night's show, you can rest easy. Phil X (the terrific guitarist who is taking Richie Sambora's place on this leg of the tour) tweeted this photo last night at 10:45 p.m. after their Des Moines show. They were on the plane, waiting for takeoff, Ketel One and Pelegrino bottles already out.

36 hours and counting. [More...]

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Billionaire Phil Anschutz, Football and Rock

The Denver Post has an article today on Denver billionaire Phil Anschutz who is taking a greater role in his expanding sports and entertainment ventures in Los Angeles. Anschutz, who rarely gives interviews and is very private, has been on a "media tour" in the past month. He gave his first media interview in decades. The reason: He's trying to bring an NFL team back to Los Angeles. The team would play at his Farmers Field stadium.

[Last month] Anschutz embarked on a Southern California publicity tour. Area sportswriters and business officials were taken aback not only by his decision to grant his first extensive media interview in decades, but by the sight of Anschutz sitting courtside at an L.A. Lakers game at Staples Center.

I'm not interested in whether Anschutz and AEG bring an NFL team to L.A. I just want to know why the Rolling Stones aren't coming to Denver since Anschutz is bankrolling the tour-- epecially since it was the Stones that reached out to AEG not the other way around. [More...]

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Start Me Up Wednesday: The Rolling Stones New U.S. Tour

#StartMeUpWednesday is here. The Rolling Stones have been teasing today's 9 am announcement of their 18 city U.S. tour all week. There are billboards up in some cities, like Chicago. Las Vegas seems to have made it. I'm writing this before the 9am announcement so no one knows for sure which cities will be included.

If Denver doesn't make the list, I'll be:

To get the latest, head over to The RollingStones.com, Rolling Stones on Twitter, Rolling Stones on Instagram, Rolling Stones on Facebook, and of course, @GRRRegory [Update below]

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AP Drops "Illegal Immigrant" From Style Book

It's about time. The Associated Press has dropped the term "illegal immigrant" from its stylebook. It explains:

The stylebook no longer sanctions the term “illegal immigrant” or the use of “illegal” to describe a person. Instead, it tells users that “illegal” should describe only an action, such as living in or immigrating to a country illegally.

Why did we make the change? The discussions on this topic have been wide-ranging and include many people from many walks of life. (Earlier, they led us to reject descriptions such as “undocumented,” despite ardent support from some quarters, because it is not precise. A person may have plenty of documents, just not the ones required for legal residence.)

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R.I.P. Anthony Lewis

Award-winning, long-time (former) New York Times reporter, columnist and professor Anthony Lewis has died. Here is a link to a collection of his writings.

A few examples: The Imperial Presidency and Silencing Gideon's Trumpet and Guantanamo's Long Shadow. In the New York Times Review of Books: Making Torture Legal.

R.I.P. Anthony Lewis.

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Oscars: 2013 Live Thread

The night begins. Big Tent Democrat's predictions are here. Is Nate Silver as good at predicting Hollywood as he is elections? Here are his predictions.

Enjoy the show, everyone. [More....]

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Oscars Red Carpet

The red carpet is in full swing. I had to turn off E! because I don't like Kelly O. and their manicure magnifier was so ridiculously pointless. Who wants to listen to actresses talk about their nails?

I'm now watching TVGN with the Bachelor's Chris Harrison. He gets better every year, and it's actually pleasant to watch with some meaningful questions about the reason for the event: the movies.

I've never even heard of Seth McFarlane who is hosting tonight. A quick search of Google doesn't leave me expecting much. It's been years since a host did anything spontaneous, so it probably doesn't matter much who is hosting.

Who did you think looked great? Awful? What network are you watching? Updates to follow.

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A 40 Year History of NORML

Keith Stroup, the founder of NORML, has a new book, in which he provides a history of NORML's 40 year campaign to legalize marijuana. You can order a copy here ($15.00)

Willie Nelson wrote the prologue. The book begins with Hunter Thompson and the 1972 Democratic convention. There are stories about many familiar people, as well as a thorough legislative history --and a lot about criminal defense lawyers (Keith was the Executive Director of NACDL for five years beginning in 1989, which is where I first met and became friends with him). [More...]

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Beyonce's Live Version of the Star Stangled Banner

Here's Beyonce at a news conference the other day, singing the Star Spangled Banner live. Just amazing. I'm really looking forward to her half-time performance today.

Beyonce's performance today is expected to start around 8:15 pm ET and last around 30 to 35 minutes.

President Obama is ready for the Superbowl (Posted on Twitter by the White House.)

Here's Alicia Keys singing the National Anthem.

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