The Washington Post

Lunchline: It's a Free world, we're just living in it

A couple of local groups celebrated themselves over the weekend. The Restaurant Association of Metropolitan Washington handed out their Rammys, and the local Emmy awards were held Saturday. But the real show happened in Los Angeles Sunday night. More on that later.

If you're in the market for a new home, you might want to get a move on. In October, new limits by Congress on mortgage sizes are going to change things drastically for the local housing market. A Washington Post analysis shows that the new loan limit, around $625,000, would have affected about 40 percent of mortgages made in Great Falls if it were in place last year, and more than 20 percent in other high value areas. The Post's Dina El Boghdady and Dan Keating report that time may be running out to get a dirt-cheap mortgage.

Rep. Michelle Bachmann is expected to announce her run for the White House in Iowa today. The Minnesota congresswoman who's managed to successfully stay clear of affiliation with Sarah Palin and carved out her own piece of stardom among conservatives will make official what she initially announced at the New Hampshire GOP debate two weeks ago. Her road to the Oval Office could be tough, as some people have wondered aloud if she's a flake and questioned her legislative record. The Fix's Chris Cillizza and Aaron Blake still think she'll be the frontrunner to win the 2012 Iowa caucuses.

The Empire state took a major step in the progressive direction on Friday. When the New York State Senate voted to allow gay marriage, it became the sixth and largest state in the country to do so. But as the gay rights movement continues to evolve, certain cultural icons that were once ground zero for the cause are becoming less relevant. Homosexuality is more accepted than ever in popular culture and Slate's June Thomas wonders: Could the double whammy of mainstreaming and technology mean that gay bars are doomed?

Rapper Nicki Minaj accepts the Best Female Hip Hop Artist award onstage during the BET Awards '11. (Kevin Winter/GETTY IMAGES)

Jim Riggleman. (Gene J. Puskar/AP)

Extra Bites

• A 16-year-old at West Potomac High School has an idea that could make listening to your iPod a lot more fun. He wants Apple to give users the ability to queue up songs without creating an entirely new playlist. The question is: Will Steve Jobs listen to his requests?

• It's vacation season, and if you like traveling to exotic or dangerous locales, listen up. Foreign Policy has compiled a list of 13 borders you don't want to be stuck at.

• Warning: this is the craziest story I've ever read in my life. Mind-boggling, in fact.

Check out my daily Lunchline Live chats at noon, or anytime on my Facebook fan page.

Clinton Yates is a D.C. native and an online columnist. When he's not covering the city, pop culture or listening to music, he watches sports. A lot of them.


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