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Mark & Dave: Student debt is real 'House of Cards'

Congratulations to Portland teachers and the school district for averting a strike and, finally, after 10 months, coming to a contract agreement. We’re happy, but it does seem unfair that both sides got an extra 10 months to get their work done, but we all got marked down for turning in homework late.

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Best-selling author James Patterson bestowed $1 million of his own money on independent bookstores. That’s like creating a stimulus package for the buggy whip industry.

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Student debt may hamper first-time homebuyers because said debt limits their ability to save for a down payment or even qualify for a mortgage. That someone who you were hoping would buy a home in the future just became your highly-educated renter.

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The plan to split California is close to reality with the approval of a ballot measure last week that would divide the Golden State into not just two states, but six. Oregon would border Jefferson, but the other five state names aren’t set yet. We would suggest Silicon for the Bay Area environs; not for the hi-tech, but for the strip clubs.

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They are binge-watching Netflix’s political psychodrama “House of Cards” in China. But get this: Chinese censors haven’t cut a thing from the online-only show, allowing it to play as-is, including some kinky Chinese story lines. Why? It likely serves their propaganda goals about ruthless and corrupt American politics. We wouldn’t be surprised if they were posting it in the documentary section.

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If you are craving junk food or cigarettes, British researchers have found that you can distract your mind by whipping out your cell phone and playing Tetris. The game shifts your focus away from your cravings and will not only work for food and cigs but also for sex. Our wives must be playing a lot of Tetris lately.

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Here’s something we hope doesn’t catch on in Portland. One California restaurant is adding a 3 percent surcharge to pay for the server’s Obamacare costs. Makes us wonder who can afford to eat out these days, anyway?

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A Kansas lawmaker is pushing a bill that would allow parents, teachers and caregivers to spank children hard enough to leave redness or bruising. Rep. Gail Finney says the bill is meant to improve discipline among children. We think she has it wrong. We need a law that allows voters to spank lawmakers. That should be a long line.

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Georgia has approved a new license plate that features the Confederate flag in the background. Everyone knows we don’t teach history the way we used to, but didn’t the Union win the war?

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There’s an app for that? Yes, there is. A sex-tracking app that measures endurance in the bedroom. And they have broken down the numbers state by state. New Mexico is No. 1 at 7 minutes, 1 second. Alaska is dead last at 1 minute, 21 seconds, and Oregon is No. 8 at 3 minutes, 51 seconds. Not sure why you would want this app. Nothing kills romance like an egg timer on the nightstand.

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According to a survey, a quarter of Americans are convinced the sun revolves around the Earth — it’s the other way around, in case you didn’t know. We worry about voter fraud throwing an election when we should be worried about these hayseeds.

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Rumor is the U.S. Post Office will honor Apple founder Steve Jobs with a postage stamp. Nothing says thank you for leading us into the 21st century with a relic from the 18th.

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On a more serious and personal note ... By now, many of you have heard or read that Dave Anderson was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in late January. Everyone involved is optimistic for a full recovery. Dave is one of the lucky ones whose cancer was caught early. On Monday, Feb. 24, Dave had surgery. We’ll keep you up to date on his progress, both here and on the “Mark and Dave Radio Show” on AM 860 KPAM.

You can also get updates on our Facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/themarkanddaveshow.