Peace feelers? "The Wisconsin 14," Democratic senators who fled state to prevent vote on union-busting bill, say they're willing to talk with Gov. Scott Walker - but won't come home just yet ... You gotta problem wit dat? New Jersey's in-your-face Gov. Chris Christie voted most popular politician in America in Quinnipiac Poll, edging President Obama by half a point ... Geographical confusion: Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) says iPods and iPhones "are built in the United States of America." Sorry, John, they're built in China, like everything else ... The better part of valor: Marisol Valles, 21-year-old police chief of crime-ravaged Mexican town of Praxedis G. Guerrero, flees to US after getting death threats, is fired ... Wages of sin: Sen. John Ensign (R-NV), caught in affair with campaign aide, announces he won't seek re-election. "There are consequences to sin," he tells reporters.
Tuesday, March 8
Flare-up in Iran: Police reportedly fire tear gas to break up crowds of demonstrators in Tehran, which had been strangely quiet for about a month ... Blinking first? Wisconsin's Gov. Walker offers to weaken union-busting bill to allow some collective bargaining; "Wisconsin 14" still hanging tough ... One owner, high mileage: Space shuttle Discovery to go up for sale after last voyage Wednesday, asking price $28.8 million. Only 150 million miles on the clock, never missed an oil change ... Merry pranks: Right-wing provocateur James O'Keefe strikes again, tricks NPR fundraiser Ron Schiller into bashing Republicans and Tea Party, which Schiller calls "seriously racist" ... More Mayan Calendar weirdness? Millions of stinking dead anchovies float ashore in Redondo Beach, CA ... In other weirdness, Charlie Sheen declares victory over the network suits after being fired from "Two and a Half Men." "They continue to be in breach, like so many whales," he says. Don't ask me.
Wednesday, March 9
Gimmick play: In surprise move, Wisconsin Republicans use parliamentary trick to pass union-busting bill without participation of Democrats. Outraged Democrats and unions mount recall campaigns ... Oh, the horrors of socialized medicine: Study of more than 100,000 people shows English are healthier than Americans, probably because they get more preventive care ... Libya bleeding: Heavy casualties reported as forces of Muammar Qaddafi try to retake town of Zawiyah from rebels ... Another NPR casualty: CEO Vivian Schiller resigns after flap over remarks by Ron Schiller (no relation) about Tea Party ... Feel-good news: Oregon Sens. Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley sponsor bill to reduce excise tax on small brewers. Meanwhile, Standard & Poor's raises Oregon's credit rating to AA++ ... Career opportunity! Rachel Oberlin, one of Charlie Sheen's two porn star "goddesses," leaves. Charlie tweets: "Applications now being accepted."
Thursday, March 10
Tripoli? Nope, Madison: Police remove dozens of protesters from Wisconsin Capitol Building before Republican legislators pass union-busting bill on a party-line vote ... Things are different here: In calmer legislative action, the Oregon House, responding to deaths of children of members of the Followers of Christ Church, abolishes faith healing as a defense for homicide ... AOL what? AOL CEO Tim Armstrong announces the venerable (since 1983) Internet company is laying off 900 workers, including 200 in America ... Carlos who? Mexican media mogul Carlos Slim heads Fortune's list of world's richest humans for second consecutive year with estimated net worth of $74 billion. Bill Gates, a piker at $56 billion, comes in second ... Damn the nutrition, full speed ahead! Cap'n Crunch, in his new Twitter account, denies rumors that PepsiCo is going to discontinue the cereal that has given a sugar high to generations of American children.
Friday, March 11
The Ring of Fire erupts: Monster 8.9 earthquake and tsunami devastate Japan ... Cooling system in nuclear reactor breaks down, threatening meltdown ... High waves do heavy damage on Oregon and Northern California coasts; former Bend resident Dustin Weber swept out to sea and drowned in Crescent City, CA ... Multi-millionaires vs. billionaires: Talks between NFL players and owners break down, player strike threatened. That'll be the highest-paid picket line in history ... Fairness and balance: Website of Glenn Beck (of all people) posts unedited video of James O'Keefe interview with Ron Schiller, revealing it was heavily doctored to make him look bad. Surprise, surprise ... Braveheart cops out: Mel Gibson pleads no contest to misdemeanor battery charge to avoid jail time for beating up his ex, Oksana Grigorieva ... Nerdvana: New version of iPad released; the usual crowds line up outside Apple stores to make Steve Jobs richer.
Saturday, March 12
Japan Syndrome? Cooling system failure at second nuclear reactor in Japan raises threat of meltdown; 170,000 evacuated; death toll passes 5,000 ... This ain't over 'til it's over: More than 100,000 march in Madison, WI to protest passage of union-busting bill ... Our own Watergate? Deschutes County DA Patrick Flaherty says he'll bring in special prosecutor to prosecute, uh, whatever it is he's prosecuting ... Cosmo it ain't: Al Qaeda launches its own women's magazine, called Al-Shamikha - "The Majestic Woman." Cover shows a woman holding a sub-machinegun. Honest ... Buh-bye, Charlie: Fed up with Charlie Sheen news? Now there's a browser extension (for Chrome and Firefox) that will block all mentions of him. What we really need is one to block the Kardashians.
Sunday, March 13
This is getting really ugly: Second explosion hits Japanese reactor; still no fix in site; death toll from quake and tsunami nears 10,000 ... Setback for freedom: Libyan rebels retreat from oil port of Brega; Qaddafi's forces push toward rebel stronghold of Benghazi ... US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton plans trip to Libya and Tunisia, will talk with Libyan rebels ... Meanwhile in Saudi Arabia (yes, Saudi Arabia) hundreds turn out to demand release of political prisoners ... Survive this: "Survivor" winner and current "Celebrity Apprentice" contestant Richard Hatch sentenced to jail for failing to pay income tax on his $1 million "Survivor" winnings ... Wanna "friend" a pope? Well, a dead pope anyway. The Vatican announces it's launching a Facebook page for the late Pope John Paul II to promote his beatification, first step to sainthood.