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Wednesday, Oct. 2, 2013, 9:00 p.m.

The remarkable season of the Pittsburgh Pirates continues this afternoon in St. Louis as the Battlin' Bucs meet the Cards in Game 1 of the best-of-five divisional round. The Pirates — and more than 40,000 fans, the 10th player — blew out the Cincinnati Reds Tuesday night to capture the National League wild card game. Game 3 will be at PNC Park on Sunday, as will Game 4 on Monday, if needed. “Buctober” is far more than a catchy slogan. ... Asks Andrew Malcolm, writing in Investor's Business Daily: “If we can do without nearly 900,000 ‘non-essential' personnel today with all their costly benefits and accruing pensions, why not tomorrow? And next week? And next year?” The fact that we can long has been Washington's dirty big secret. ... The new nut is a whole lot like the old nut in Venezuela. President Nicolas Maduro apparently inherited the crazy-as-a-loon gene from late President Hugo Chavez. He has expelled three U.S. diplomatic officials for allegedly backing a plan to sabotage the nation's electric grid and the economy. That's a pretty tall order, considering Venezuela doesn't have much of a grid or an economy to begin with. ... Iran says it will negotiate with the United States over its nuclear program if Washington first lifts economy-crippling sanctions. Uhm, no. ... Once said prospective Federal Reserve boss Janet Yellen: “Will capitalist economies operate at full employment in the absence of routine intervention? Certainly not.” Next!

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