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April 7, 2014
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In a New York Times Magazine piece this past week, actor Rob Lowe seemed to reaffirm his libertarianism:

My thing is personal freedoms, freedoms for the individual to love whom they want, do with what they want. In fact, I want the government out of almost everything.

It wasn't always this way. Lowe's evolution from liberal Democrat (it was at the 1988 Democratic convention where a scandal nearly wrecked his career) to libertarian-leaning independent was decades in the making. As Taylor Bigler notes, Lowe discussed his political evolution at greater length a few years ago in the Guardian:

You know, there's that great quote: 'If you're young and you're not a liberal, you have no heart. If you're older and not a conservative, you have no brain.' I started out being a really, really liberal Democrat. [That changes] as you get older and you have children and you get more life experience. [The Guardian]

Friends of liberty should welcome converts, but whether it's Rob Lowe or Dennis Miller — or whomever — the downside of the trope about people becoming more conservative with age is that it is the young, impressionable fans who are most likely to be influenced by a celebrities' politics. (Jonah Goldberg has a point about young people being "frickin' stupid," but everyone concedes that youth sells.)

As much as I love the older, wiser Parks and Recreation Rob Lowe, the classic St. Elmo's Fire heartthrob Rob Lowe was much more culturally relevant. This, of course, is merely one example of a trend. And, as you can imagine, it's a constant headache for libertarians and conservatives who realize that youth sells and that politics is downstream from culture. Matt K. Lewis

9:43 a.m. ET

At first glance, you might think Donald Trump would be thrilled to be played by an Oscar-nominated actor like Johnny Depp in a biopic chronicling his life — but when that biopic turns out to be the latest Funny or Die project, the results are less than flattering.

Depp stars in Funny or Die's scathingly parodic The Art of the Deal, which presents itself as a long-lost, made-for-TV adaptation of Trump's 1987 bestseller of the same name. True to the era, The Art of the Deal features plenty of '80s icons, including Christopher Lloyd, ALF, and "Danger Zone" legend Kenny Loggins, who performs the theme song. Of course, the real draw is Depp, whose rubbery, mush-mouthed take on Trump is suspiciously similar to his take on gangster Whitey Bulger in Black Mass:

If you're ready for The Art of the Deal, you can watch the whole movie (which clocks in at 50 minutes) at Funny or Die. Scott Meslow

9:35 a.m. ET

San Antonio Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich's response to finding out who won the New Hampshire primary Tuesday night was spot on — and he didn't even utter a word.

TNT reporter David Aldridge managed to slip in the political question at the end of courtside interview with Popovich by asking him he if he wants to know the election results. "Yeah, who is it?" Popovich asks. "[Bernie] Sanders and [Donald] Trump," Aldridge responds.

Popovich is silent. He looks at Aldridge, shakes his head in utter disbelief, and then just walks away. Watch it. Becca Stanek

9:14 a.m. ET
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Screenwriter Aaron Sorkin will adapt Harper Lee's To Kill a Mockingbird for Broadway, The New York Times reports.

"It lives a little bit differently in everybody's imagination in the way a great novel ought to, and then along I come," Sorkin said. "I'm not the equal of Harper Lee. No one is."

Sorkin was signed by producer Scott Rudin, who attained the stage adaptation rights that Lee had apparently long been reluctant to grant. The two men have worked together on films including The Social Network, Moneyball, and Steve Jobs. The play is scheduled to open in 2017.

In a sentiment the entire world is bound to echo, Sorkin's teenage daughter has already advised him "not to blow it." Julie Kliegman

9:12 a.m. ET

Jeb Bush is heading into his next campaign stop in South Carolina with a little help from older brother George W. Bush. In what will mark George W. Bush's first-ever campaign ad for current Republican presidential candidate Jeb Bush, the 43rd president will begin hitting the South Carolina airwaves Wednesday in a spot targeted at conservative talk radio stations. Take a listen:

"Jeb has dealt with crises as the governor of Florida, and he did so with steadiness, and a calmness necessary in a good leader," the former president says in the ad entitled "Steady Hand." "He respects the military — he honors their families. He can make the tough decision to keep Americans safe and our country free. And in a time of crisis, he will be a steady hand."

The ad marks the start of George W. Bush's increased involvement in his brother's campaign. He is also expected to make an appearance on the campaign trail in South Carolina sometime before next week's Feb. 20 primary. Becca Stanek

8:54 a.m. ET
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Coming off of a strong second-place showing in New Hampshire's Republican primary, Ohio Gov. John Kasich said Wednesday he doesn't plan on slowing down.

"We're going to go through South Carolina, ultimately to the Midwest. This is a long, long race." Kasich said on Good Morning America. "Everybody always underestimates me."

Kasich also vowed to not only unite the Republican Party, but also to get some cross-party appeal should he beat the odds and make it to the general election.

"We can attract the Democrats," he said. "We're Americans before we're Republicans and Democrats." Julie Kliegman

8:41 a.m. ET
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Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) may want Hillary Clinton to be the next president, but he hasn't endorsed her over Bernie Sanders in the Democratic primary, even as Sanders has proven himself a more formidable contender than originally expected.

On Feb. 20, Democrats in his home state will be the third to weigh in on the nomination process, and the senator doesn't want to interfere with the caucus' turnout.

"I'm more concentrated on what effect my endorsement has in Nevada, OK? Eight years ago, we registered 30- to 40,000 new Democrats. Tens of thousands, it was unheard of," Reid told Politico. "For me to endorse somebody would just take away the focus on the caucus."

So Reid is tiptoeing around Sanders, making a more concerted effort than many of his colleagues to not criticize the Vermont senator.

"He is very protective of his early first-in-the-West status. He worked hard to get it," said Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.). Julie Kliegman

8:11 a.m. ET
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Jeb Bush's campaign was quick to put the kibosh on John Kasich's chances after the Ohio governor came in second in the New Hampshire Republican primary Tuesday night. "Kasich ran a one-state campaign," Bush spokesman Tim Miller said Tuesday. "He does not have a viable path to the nomination at all, and he certainly does not have a viable path to success in South Carolina, a state where support of the military is critical."

Bush's campaign also took a shot at Donald Trump, questioning just how successful the first-place finisher in New Hampshire will be moving forward. "[Trump] obviously did very well tonight with independents but... in states where it's a Republican primary, Trump's going to struggle," Miller said.

With 89 percent of precincts reporting, Bush is projected to come in fourth place in New Hampshire, 0.5 percentage points behind Texas Sen. Ted Cruz. Becca Stanek

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