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No laughing matter
May 20, 2014
Mike Coppola/Getty Images

Celebrated comedian Louis C.K. was on a recent episode of NPR's Fresh Air to discuss the fourth season of his FX series, Louie, when talk turned to sex. More precisely, talk turned to the dangers of having it with strangers.

Talking about his character on the show, the comedian said, "I'm trying to beat something into his head... he gets confronted with the idea that if you're intimate with a total stranger, it's a reckless thing to do. Getting into bed with somebody, simply because you like their body — or because they came on to you — these always lead to bad choices."

"Almost every single time I've had sex with someone for the first time, I should have waited," the comedian confessed about his personal life. "Pretty much 100 percent of the time, I should have waited a little. It never hurts."

Since Louis C.K. is not exactly known as a culture warrior, Fresh Air host Terry Gross asked if this wasn't just a rehearsal for advice he plans to give his daughters when they are older. To that, he responded:

Well, I do think we should tell our kids when they start making these choices, tell them the real thing. Like, don't tell them hocus pocus, spooky stories. You know, someone's gonna kill you; Jesus is gonna' hate you if you do this. Tell them the truth, which is, you're gonna feel crappy if you do this. It's not worth it. Just wait. It's a very big deal to be naked in a room with... another person. That is so intimate. That's such a big deal. And when you don't treat it as a big deal, you get confronted with how big a deal it is, as a surprise, you know, when that urge is over that got you there.

This sounds like pretty practical, even conservative advice. Matt K. Lewis

study says
9:33 a.m. ET

Have you talked (or argued) with your parents about the 2016 election yet? A new study posits that you're more likely to answer yes to that question if you're a woman. Women are far more likely to talk about politics with their parents and children than are men, who tend to take those kinds of conversations elsewhere, the Pew Research Center reports. Is this beginning to explain all those awkward Thanksgiving conversations with your aunts and sisters?

However, even if women are the ones talking politics with their families, they also happen to enjoy it less than their brothers, sons, and dads. Pew adds that men tend to talk about politics more often than women — and are more likely to enjoy it. Six in ten women actually like talking about politics, as compared to three in four men. Jeva Lange

Coming Soon
9:27 a.m. ET

Among superheroes, Marvel's Deadpool has always been something of an anomaly: funny, brutally violent, and gleefully breaking the fourth wall. Now, Deadpool is headed for the big screen — and based on this very NSFW trailer, the comic book's sensibility has arrived more or less intact:

Deadpool follows Wade Wilson, a mercenary with advanced healing powers who seeks revenged on the people who experimented on him. But in Deadpool, the story is less important than the gags, and this gory, goofy, and virtually plot-free trailer certainly captures that. Reynolds even takes a crack at Green Lantern, his much-maligned previous attempt to launch a superhero franchise. "Just don't make it green!" he pleads to the designer of his superhero costume. "Or animated!"

Deadpool hits theaters in February 2016. Scott Meslow

Quotables
8:34 a.m. ET
Mark Wilson/Getty Images

Despite the Obama administration's recent track record of foreign policy success — restoring relations with Cuba, the Iran deal, a climate deal with China, and various trade agreements — many in the Defense Department are grumbling about being elbowed out of the National Security Council's decision-making. In The Washington Post, several unnamed officials dished on their frustration with the White House's NSC clique and Obama's "micromanaging," which some say ultimately ends up keeping policies from ever getting off the ground.

Or, as one official bemoaned, policymaking has been "sclerotic at best, constipated at worse."

"There are problems that call for a real 'whole of government' solution," David Rothkopf, who has extensively covered the NSC, added in The Washington Post. "I've never seen an administration that says it more and does it less."

"Benghazi is a good example, and . . . Ebola," another former official explained. "That can't just be left to CDC and State and others to manage. No. You have to have a czar and a whole team of people. And why is that? Because the politics on this issue have become so much more corrosive and challenging that it's a natural instinct for the White House to say, 'We've got to have an eye on this. On everything.'"

See, Obama? Nobody likes a micromanager. Read all the whining in The Washington Post. Jeva Lange

Ancient artifacts
8:17 a.m. ET

In the very last hour of the final day of a dig, archaeologists made a big discovery when a stone suddenly vanished into an underground blackhole. While excavating an area ahead of the construction of a new school in Jerusalem, the researchers had stumbled upon a Second Temple-era ritual bath, accessible by a stone staircase and an outer room complete with benches. Haaretz notes that while the discovery of ritual baths from the Second Temple-era are "not rare in the Holy Land," there is something particularly special about this discovery: It bears writing and symbols, done in mud and soot, that somehow managed to be preserved throughout the centuries.

The images on the bath's plaster walls include a boat, palm trees, various plants, and what may be a menorah. The inscriptions in ancient Aramaic and cursive Hebrew script may denote names. "The symbols we see are familiar to us from coins, sarcophagi, and graves, but a concentration like this is certainly unusual," Amit Re'em, a manager for the Israeli Antiquities Authority, told Haaretz. "It is possible that writing on mikveh walls was common, but not usually preserved."

However, to archaeologists' horror, the writing's long tenure of preservation seemed to come to an end shortly after the discovery was made. Exposed to air, the writing quickly began to fade, prompting emergency archaeology teams to rush to the scene. But it was too late to preserve the writing's legibility. At this point, archaeologists remain unsure as to who carved the writings and images, and what the message in the writing is.

Becca Stanek

Iran and the bomb
8:06 a.m. ET
Alex Wong/Getty Images

President Obama is dipping into his past political successes to promote his biggest pending diplomatic accomplishment. In a speech Wednesday at American University, Obama will argue that the same people who supported the now-unpopular invasion of Iraq in 2003 are trying hardest to sink the nuclear deal between Iran and six world powers, including the U.S. Obama's early opposition to the Iraq War helped propel him to the White House.

Obama is framing the looming vote in Congress on the nuclear deal as the most consequential foreign policy decision since the Iraq War, but he will also draw parallels between the Iran pact and nuclear treaties Presidents John F. Kennedy and Ronald Reagan negotiated and signed with the Soviet Union.

The speech is the public face of a big push to shore up support among congressional Democrats, in the face of near-unanimous Republican opposition a $40 million campaign to sink the deal led by the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC). Three on-the-fence Democrats — Sens. Barbara Boxer (Calif.), Tim Kaine (Va.), and Ben Nelson (Fla.) — formally backed the Iran pact this week, while three others — Reps. Steve Israel (N.Y.), Nita Lowey (N.Y.), and Ted Deutch (Fla.) announced their opposition.

Sen. Tom Carper (D-Del.), who is leaning toward supporting the accord, tells USA Today that Obama's lobbying is "appropriate and needed.... God knows there are plenty of people pushing on the other side who have never read the agreement, don’t understand the agreement, who are pushing very hard to make sure it’s deep-sixed." Obama needs enough Democrats to sustain a potential veto. Peter Weber

Train Trouble
6:46 a.m. ET

Right before midnight on Tuesday, two passenger trains in India's Madhya Pradesh state derailed at a crossing near the flooded Machak River, killing at least 29 and injuring 70 more. Officials said Wednesday that up to 600 people were on the two trains, which did not collide, and at least 300 people have been rescued from the wreckage. Indian rail officials blamed the accident on monsoon rains, which they say washed away soil from under the tracks, sinking a section into the muddy ground.

In a tweet, Prime Minister Narendra Modi called the accidents "deeply distressing," and his government said the families of the deceased would each receive 200,000 rupees, or about $3,100. You can see scenes from the accident in the Associated Press video below. Peter Weber

The Daily Showdown
5:26 a.m. ET

On Monday night, 14 Republican presidential candidates gathered together on a New Hampshire stage for their first debate. On Tuesday's Daily Show, almost retired Jon Stewart barely had time to mock them. (Don't worry, he set aside a few minutes, with Sen. Ted Cruz getting the brunt.) "I shouldn't complain about the Republican race being such a circus," Stewart said. "At least it's fun to watch. The Democratic primary is basically one joyless Bataan death march to a Hillary Clinton nomination."

And then the rumor that Vice President Joe Biden is thinking of entering the Democratic race — and pundits touting Biden's proclivity for gaffes as a political plus. "Really?" Stewart asked, skepticism mixing with glee. "So the reason loose-lips McGee f—ed up his 2008 presidential run is now the reason he's a viable candidate? You know, not just blurting shit out, that's a pre-Trump presidential quality. Post-Trump, it's all about saying the crazy." Hasan Minhaj got in on the fun, "reporting" from "Clinton campaign headquarters" that Clinton is furiously engaging in "gaffe prep" to fend off the Biden challenge. If you like to laugh and don't mind mild vulgarity, watch below. Peter Weber

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