* * * * * * * * * *
Brad's afternoon edition. Click here to read his morning edition.
* The Powerball lottery jackpot has reached $500 million. Or, as President Obama refers to that kind of money, "two fundraisers."
* Judging by the length of the lines outside Omaha establishments selling lottery tickets, the idea of winning $500 million appeals to us. Just not as much as the thought of winning free Chick-fil-A chicken for a year.
* North Korea is expected to test another long-range missile within three weeks. That's when the goat that walks on the treadmill to power the missile should be peaking.
* Some experts say the fiscal-cliff threat is exaggerated by “doomsayers.” We better not find out this whole thing is tied to the Mayan calendar.
* Wednesday morning, President Obama met with members of the middle class at the White House to discuss the fiscal cliff. This is embarrassing – when Obama took office in 2008, two-thirds of them were members of the upper class.
* President Obama is in “campaign mode” when it comes to the fiscal cliff. I guess that means that instead of Senate Republicans, he'll be debating it with Kathie Lee and Hoda.
* The president-elect of Mexico met with President Obama on Tuesday. Security was extremely tight, and that was just to prevent a national embarrassment if the future president of Mexico defected.
* Mitt Romney claims that President Obama won the election due to gifts and goodies offered. Obama will have no reaction until he returns from Ankeny, Iowa, where he's raffling off a trip to Cancun.
* It is reported there was a small fire at the CenturyLink Center last week. The fire did $1,700 worth of damage. It destroyed three food items at a concession stand.
* Rutgers in New Jersey joining the Big Ten has huge significance. This means that West Lafayette is only the second-least-desirable place to visit for an away game.
* The Big Ten bringing Maryland into the league will give the conference a toehold in Washington, D.C. Politicians will be thrilled with Jim Delany. I'll be their first exposure to someone who craves power more than they do.
* The Carolina Panthers lost their first 11 coin tosses this season, including an overtime. When asked to call the 12th toss, a Carolina captain said, “Oh, what does it even matter?”