Judge Blocks Bloomberg's Soda Ban: New York Times: "A judge invalidated New York City’s ban on large sugary drinks on Monday, one day before it was to go into effect, dealing Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg a major blow. The decision by Justice Milton A. Tingling Jr. of State Supreme Court in Manhattan blocks the city from putting the rules into effect or enforcing them. Justice Tingling said the rule banning the drinks was 'arbitrary and capricious.' In his opinion, Justice Tingling specifically cited a perceived inequity in the soda rules, which applies to only certain sugared drinks — beverages with a high milk content, for instance, would be exempt — and would apply only to some food establishments, like restaurants, but not others, like convenience stores." More on the proposal's loopholes here.
Kim Jong-Un Is Still Kim Jong-Un: Washington Post: "North Korea said Monday that it had 'completely scrapped' the 1953 armistice agreement that ended the Korean War, following up on a threat made days earlier and increasing the prospect of a strike against or a skirmish with the South, analysts said. The North has made several similar announcements in the past, most recently in 2009, and analysts said this latest declaration could prove to be bluster rather than the marker of a wholesale shift in Pyongyang’s dealings with Seoul. Experts also note that Pyongyang — whether bound by the cease-fire or not — has occasionally ignored its terms, most notably with fatal attacks on the South in 2010. Still, the armistice has kept a shaky peace on the peninsula for 60 years, and the North’s apparent withdrawal — coupled with its severing of a communications hotline at the demilitarized border Monday — makes it more difficult for South Korea and the United States to prevent or resolve disputes with Pyongyang."
Obit of the Year: It's early, but this (presumably paid) obit in Biloxi, Mississippi's Sun Herald is certainly the leader in the clubhouse (h/t @DwightGarner) [sic]: "Harry Weathersby Stamps, ladies' man, foodie, natty dresser, and accomplished traveler, died on Saturday, March 9, 2013. ... He had a life-long love affair with deviled eggs, Lane cakes, boiled peanuts, Vienna [Vi-e-na] sausages on saltines, his homemade canned fig preserves, pork chops, turnip greens, and buttermilk served in martini glasses garnished with cornbread. ... As a former government and sociology professor for Gulf Coast Community College, Harry was thoroughly interested in politics and religion and enjoyed watching politicians act like preachers and preachers act like politicians. He was fond of saying a phrase he coined 'I am not running for political office or trying to get married' when he was 'speaking the truth.' He also took pride in his service during the Korean conflict, serving the rank of corporal—just like Napolean, as he would say. ... He despised phonies, his 1969 Volvo (which he also loved), know-it-all Yankees, Southerners who used the words 'veranda' and 'porte cochere' to put on airs, eating grape leaves, Law and Order (all franchises), cats, and Martha Stewart. In reverse order. He particularly hated Day Light Saving Time, which he referred to as The Devil's Time. It is not lost on his family that he died the very day that he would have had to spring his clock forward. This can only be viewed as his final protest." No exceprt does the full thing justice, read it here.
The Slatest: A Potential Hurdle for Ashley Judd's Senate Bid
Let the Conclave Begin: Washington Post: "The papal conclave will begin in Vatican City on Tuesday, when 115 cardinals, having celebrated Mass at St. Peter’s, will walk to the Sistine Chapel, lock themselves inside, take an oath of secrecy, pray, and then attempt to select the new spiritual leader of the world’s 1.2 billion Catholics. For the past week, the cardinals have been meeting in “general congregations” to hash out the key issues facing Catholicism. There has been much speculation that the next pope could come from the developing world rather than Europe, though most veteran Vatican watchers say another Western pope will likely emerge from the conclave. There is no obvious favorite to ascend to the papacy, left vacant by Benedict XVI, who resigned last month citing age and frailty. The cardinals could pick a pope on the very first ballot on the first afternoon of the conclave, though that would be surprising; in recent conclaves, popes have been selected after at least two days of balloting."
The Slatest: Who Will Be the Next Pope? Probably One of These Guys.
The Civil War in Syria Is Somehow Getting Even Worse: Reuters: "The Syrian government has stepped up indiscriminate, heavy bombardments of cities while rebels are executing prisoners condemned in their own makeshift courts without due process, U.N. investigators said on Monday. The independent investigators said they were looking into 20 massacres committed by one or the other side and hundreds of 'unlawful killings', cases of torture and arbitrary arrests since September in the two-year-old conflict."
Budget Battle, Now With More Budgets: The Hill: "Senate Democrats promised Monday to make Rep. Paul Ryan's (R-Wis.) new budget a focal point of their 2014 campaigns. ... Democrats argue changes to Medicare and other spending cuts outlined by Ryan will pay political dividends for their Senate candidates, who face a difficult 2014 landscape. ... Ryan's last budget gave Medicare recipients the option of switching from the traditional fee-for-service program to one in which they would get subsidies to purchase private insurance. This year's budget is expected to be similar, though in his drive to balance in 10 years, Ryan might speed up changes so that people who are now 56 years old would be subject to the new policies."
Weigel: Paul Ryan's Obamacare Run-Around
Bringing SNL Back: Hollywood Reporter: "Justin Timberlake returned to Studio 8H on Saturday for his fifth time hosting Saturday Night Live. His appearance, and the slew of cameos that accompanied it, gave the show a sizable boost in ratings. Preliminary Nielsen figures give the episode 5.9 rating among metered-market households and a 15 share. That's the largest haul for the NBC series in 14 months, since Charles Barkley hosted in January, 2012. In the 25 markets with Local People Meters, SNL averaged a 3.7 rating among adults 18-49—another high not achieved since Barkley."
A Few More Quick Hits From Slate—
The Slatest: Ex-Detroit Mayor Convicted of Corruption
Moneybox: Stocks Are Back, and This Is No Bubble
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