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Posted at 12:28 PM ET, 05/16/2011

Lunchline: Cash for gold!


The space shuttle Endeavour lifts off from the Kennedy Space Center. (John Raoux - AP)
I'll never understand the fascination with shuttle launches, but this morning's personal story surrounding Rep. Gabrielle Giffords and her husband on Endeavour is quite touching. What a nice moment.

It's quite the week for real estate news in the area. To start with, a Washington Post investigation into the nation's affordable-housing programs has revealed that the District lost millions on a deal that was supposed to renovate three rundown Southeast apartment buildings. Debbie Cenziper chronicles the somewhat depressing tale of how one group of criminals gamed the system to the detriment of needy city residents. Also, Cleveland Park neighbors are still arguing over the neighborhood Giant Food. And, preservationists and developers are at odds in Oxon Hill.

Everyone has a theory on how to get the U.S. out of debt. There are all sorts of ideas for getting the country's problem under control, and today is the day that we officially hit our debt limit. Now, some conservative economists are seriously suggesting that the Obama administration sell the gold in Fort Knox to make some quick cash. The Post's Joel Achenbach reports on the notion that one White House official calls "just one level of crazy away from selling Mount Rushmore."

Don Lemon is an incredibly courageous man. If you remember, last fall, when the sordid accusations against Atlanta Bishop Eddie Long went public, the CNN anchor revealed on air that he was the victim of a pedophile as a child. It was one of the most extraordinary things I'd ever seen on television and an inspiring moment. Yesterday, Lemon made another admission, this time on Twitter, by coming out of the closet.


DC resident and art collector Philippa Hughes, right, gives performance artist Agnes Bolt a cup of coffee. (Sarah L. Voisin - THE WASHINGTON POST)
How would you feel about someone moving into your house and then living in a bubble? For D.C. collector and patron Philippa Hughes, this was her life for an entire week. Hughes agreed to host a Pittsburgh-based artist as part of an art performance that she would then blog about. It was an awkward seven days to say the least. Kriston Capps looks back on the wacky experiment designed "to test the boundaries of the artist-collector relationship."

The Nationals staved off a sweep at the hands of the Marlins yesterday, but still sit at two games below .500. Nonetheless, The Post's Thomas Boswell is encouraged about the team, but not for the reasons you may think. Nevermind Stephen Strasburg, Bryce Harper or Jayson Werth: Boz is glad to see that the bullpen is finally clicking and not throwing away games left and right as was its habit in the past.

Extra Bites

• I don't drink a lot of wine, but I do know how to pronounce the word oenophile. Some of these types are apparently getting upset about the level of alcohol in wines nowadays. Slate's Mike Steinberger analyzes what he calls "hedonistic fruit bombs."

• M-Bone, one of the members of the Cali Swag District, whose song "Teach Me How to Dougie" was a hit last summer, was shot and killed in his hometown of Inglewood. Sad.

• FOX has canceled "America's Most Wanted" after 23 years on the air.

Send your suggestions or comments to me at clinton.yates@wpost.com.

By  |  12:28 PM ET, 05/16/2011

 
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