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May 26, 2014

A Georgia woman is suing the city of Sandy Springs over its law banning the sale of vibrators and other sex toys unless a person can get a doctor's prescription. Melissa Davenport says sex toys saved her marriage of 24 years after she developed multiple sclerosis. The law "says the government can stick its nose in your bedroom," she said. "It's appalling." The Week Staff

12:33 p.m. ET
Mark Wilson/Getty Images

Wells Fargo CEO John Stumpf appeared before Congress on Thursday, for the second time since news broke that his bank opened up 2 million fake accounts without informing its customers. Stumpf faced the Senate Banking Committee last week, where he incurred the wrath of Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), who demanded he resign.

At Thursday's hearing before the House Financial Services Committee, Stumpf continued to face outrage from Democrats and Republicans alike, with Rep. Gregory Meeks (D-N.Y.) accusing Stumpf of running "a criminal enterprise":

Stumpf stressed he would cooperate with lawmakers: "I am fully accountable for all unethical sales practices in our retail banking business, and I am fully committed to fixing this issue," he said. "We will not stop working until we get this right." Jeva Lange

12:20 p.m. ET
Joe Raedle/Getty Images

Donald Trump's former campaign manager Corey Lewandowski traded his decidedly partisan post for the purportedly neutral job of CNN commentator back in June — and it hasn't been the smoothest transition. Lewandowski has come under fire for, to be kind, the optics of the whole thing, as he presents as a neutral news commentator while analyzing the campaign he actively tried to guide to success.

The situation was made worse when it was revealed in July that Lewandowski was still being paid by the Trump campaign while also receiving a paycheck from CNN, throwing those ethical concerns into stark relief. And after it was reported last week that the checks were still rolling in to Lewandowski from Trump, it appears Lewandowski got his erstwhile boss to do something he doesn't often do: pay up.

Politico reported Thursday that Lewandowski is no longer receiving payments from the Trump campaign, as the two parties agreed to pay out Lewandowski's severance in a lump sum. The decision was apparently made to "avoid future distractions," Politico's source at CNN said.

Lewandowski was originally scheduled to receive payments through the end of 2016. Trump campaign spokeswoman Hope Hicks said the lump sum payment to Lewandowski will be noted in the campaign's next FEC filing. Kimberly Alters

11:30 a.m. ET
Mario Tama/Getty Images

Conventional wisdom says the 2016 presidential race is about personality. Is Donald Trump too offensive? Is Hillary Clinton too imperious? Would voters like to have a beer with them? Does either of them have any idea what a beer costs? I mean, it's one beer — what could it cost? Ten dollars?

But a new study by Martin Wattenberg, a political scientist at the University of California at Irvine, finds voters are increasingly uninterested in matters of personality. Instead, partisanship and policy are the primary determining factors for candidate selection in the United States today.

As Wattenberg explains at The Washington Post, "over the last 60 years, presidential candidates' personal attributes have actually become less important to voters and less correlated with election outcomes." In 1952, for instance, 8 in 10 Americans described personal qualities (like character, appearance, and personal history) when discussing why they liked their candidate. That personal interest has steadily declined up through 2012, the most recent year of available data, when only 6 in 10 offered similar answers to the same question.

To the extent that voters care about personal qualities today, their perception is heavily colored by partisanship. "In our increasingly polarized politics, people have come to hold more black-and-white views of the candidates," Wattenberg says, "and judge personal character through the lens of political bias." Bonnie Kristian

11:14 a.m. ET
George Frey/Getty Images

After an awkward gaffe during an MSNBC townhall event Wednesday, Libertarian Party nominee Gary Johnson has gotten some good news from Michigan. The Detroit News on Thursday gave Johnson its endorsement for president, a big break from 143 years of backing only Republican candidates.

"Since its founding in 1873," the editorial board explained, the paper "has backed a Republican every time it has made a presidential endorsement." But in 2016, "We abandon that long and estimable tradition this year for one reason: Donald J. Trump."

While critiquing Trump and Democrat Hillary Clinton, the endorsement essay also devotes considerable space to highlighting Johnson's own merits. "We recognize the Libertarian candidate is the longest of long shots with an electorate that has been conditioned to believe only Republicans and Democrats can win major offices," the paper admits. "But this is an endorsement of conscience, reflecting our confidence that Johnson would be a competent and capable president and an honorable one." Bonnie Kristian

11:08 a.m. ET
iStock

The average cost of health coverage for an employer-provided family plan rose to $18,142 in 2016, up 3 percent from the previous year's $17,545 annual premium cost. Employees paid 30 percent of the premiums this year, The Wall Street Journal reports, up from 29 percent in 2015.

Ana­lysts said that this slow growth in coverage costs was partly the result of companies continuing to shift workers into high-deductible plans, a strategy that typically keeps premium costs low. This year 29 percent of covered workers had health plans with higher deductibles, up from 24 percent last year. And in a historic first, more than half of covered workers had a $1,000 deductible for a single-person plan this year; the share of covered workers paying that much was just 46 percent last year. The Week Staff

11:04 a.m. ET
Cartoon Network

Here's the bad news: Cartoon Network's beloved animated television series Adventure Time is coming to an end. The good news: The ninth season, currently in production, will be completed, which means you still get to enjoy new episodes through 2018.

"Adventure Time changed the definition of what a kids' TV series could be, and it's had a resounding impact upon popular culture around the world," the chief content officer for Cartoon Network, Rob Sorcher, told The Hollywood Reporter.

The show's creator, Pendleton Ward, added: "Adventure Time was a passion project for the people on the crew who poured their heart into the art and stories. We tried to put into every episode something genuine and telling from our lives, and make a show that was personal to us, and that had jokes too! I'm really happy that it connected with an audience for so long. It's a special thing, I think."

The show first debuted in 2010, and found a cult following among millions of fans. It went on to win six Emmys. By the end of its final season, Adventure Time will boast 142 half-hour episodes in all. Jeva Lange

10:48 a.m. ET

The voice actor for Futurama's Zapp Brannigan, Billy West, doesn't have to do much more than simply read parts of Donald Trump's presidential debate remarks verbatim for them to suddenly sound hilarious and absurd:

It just goes to show — sometimes the jokes really do just write themselves. Jeva Lange

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